American Elephants


What Is The Matter With These People? by The Elephant's Child

Observing the political scene, one wonders, what the heck is the matter with these people? It seems that large numbers of people are asking the same question. From American Greatness “NYT Ponders: Could the Steele Dossier be Russian Disinformation?” A slightly belated question, or the beginnings of  a CYA operation?

Victor Davis Hanson said: “for them, that particular subset that really hates Trump, its the idea that this guy just comes in, and all their pretensions or all of their disconnects, he challenges. And then he doesn’t just challenge it, he points out how hypocritical they are. He does that all the time.  If you look at his tweets, that’s one constant theme. “You have walls. Why can’t the nation have walls?” Hanson points out that all the Never Trumpers at the Bulwark, Max Boot, David Frum, Bill Kristol, have spent their lives advancing the issues that Trump has put into effect, and now they don’t like them because Trump’s fingerprints are on them.

But why the hatred? Most of the people who were involved in the Never Trumps, were invested in particular campaigns, and they thought they would be the wise men, they would be asked to come into the White House, be on Talk shows. They offerred their expertise, but they have a special office at the White House looking at applicants tweets and Facebook posts. Their obliging offers were rejected.

Jeremy Carl, a Hoover Institution scholar, called to our attention that in the aftermath of the Jussie Smollet hate hoax, journalist Andy Ngo wrote that the hoax was symptomatic of America’s illness – a combination he attributed to the rise of the victimhood culture fueled in significant part by increasing group conflict.  Not, Carl wrote, an “illness” of America writ large, but an affliction particular to white liberals. Recent polls by nonpartisan organizations suggest that white liberals have a unique distaste for their own ethnic group. (See Smollett, Covington HS boys in their MAGA hats.) Group bias is a widely recognized phenomenon, and most groups prefer their own. Except white liberals.

I think that the Liberals were expecting sixteen years of continuous control. It’s not just controlling the levers of power— but the jobs, the prestige, the friendships, the opportunities. It clearly wasn’t about Hillary except as the brownie points of electing the first woman, they’ve already lost interest in her completely. No longer useful.

Presidents are supposed to be former governors, or have been in the military – which suggests familarity with high level politics more than skill. From the still growing list of Democrat candidates there’s not much in the way of demonstrated skills. It is beginning to look as if there may be more skills in understanding economics, managing very large operations and dealing with the law in America’s CEOs, certainly than in the current crop of candidates. That’s the big divide. Trump represents everything the Left has been trained to hate. The birth certificate for a good liberal is the understanding that Republicans give tax cuts to the Rich, while good Democrats help the poor. Democrats have no understanding whatsoever that allowing people to keep more of their own money gets invested into the economy. They expand, hire, invent, and, oddly in the process, more people have jobs, unemployment goes down. The economy grows with more activity.  Democrats are good at propaganda however. Current surveys suggest that a significant percentage of the people don’t think that they got a tax cut.

Most people grew up in a neighborhood, by that I mean among people very like themselves. Similar home costs, similar houses, similar yards, kids go to the same schools. I notice, largely because I did not grow up in a neighborhood. There is a difference.

A president is someone we choose to run the country for us for four years. The campaign is supposed to demonstrate the skills and potential that candidates may (or may not possess). We get distracted by looks and personality or demeanor, and forget to look hard at proven ability, which is  a major mistake. We have a current crop of candidates who are blithely signing on the “The Green New Deal” with no understanding of why it would be a massive mistake, no understanding of whether there is or is not a climate crisis, and why. Over and over they are demonstrating that they have never even bothered to read or learn anything about the subject whatsoever. All of them.

We can scatter the blame around, but we need to look in the mirror. We have to be informed voters. It’s up to us.



Democrats Don’t Understand Basic Economics by The Elephant's Child

I’m sure that you have heard Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats claiming that President Trump’s tax cuts only go to the rich, and the common people get shafted. Uh huh. Of course they know better, but Democrats want high taxes so they can give stuff (benefits) to the deplorables out there to get their votes. Or, it’s also possible that they just didn’t do well with percentages when they were in school. The rich, and among them are many of the Democrats in Congress, including Ms. Pelosi, earn a heck-of-a lot more than most of us.

The most recent figures I could find are for 2015, indicating that the top 1% pay nearly half of all federal income taxes.  The bottom 80% are expected to pay about 15% of all federal income taxes in 2014. That’s because the rich earn an outsized share of all income. You can also add in the notation that they can afford the very best accountants and lawyers to help them pay as little as possible. Surprisingly, no one seems to want to pay a cent more than they have to. Since their income is outsized, when there is an across the board tax cut of – say 2% – that means a far bigger chunk of money to the big income people than it does to the small income people.

That simple exercise in percentages is why the Democrats get away with proclaiming that the Trump tax cuts only go to the rich. They are trying to make the deplorables angry and envious of the rich and hate the president who came up with the tax cuts that weren’t fair. They haul it out for every Republican tax cut, so that people will think that all the economic expansion, the full employment, the prospering economy that needs more workers, is somehow a fraud, and for God’s sake don’t even thing of voting for any Republican. Vote for Democrats who will stop all this nonsense and give you a nice familiar recession.

There’s also the very real possibility that they just have no understanding of basic economics.



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.



Democrats Fight to Protect a $1.8 Trillion Tax Break That Benefits The Top 1% by The Elephant's Child

When Republicans even suggest that they are considering cutting taxes, Democrats can be expected to start screaming “Tax cuts for the Rich.” They assume that any reduction in taxes only benefits the very rich and it is not only undeserved, but evil. They are incapable of understanding that if corporate tax rates are cut, those ‘rich” people will not fritter the money away on baubles and yachts, but instead they are freed to reinvest the money in growth, new buildings, new businesses and new machinery, and more workers which creates a growing economy. To be a Democrat, one must assume that the rich never  pay their fair share.

To be a Democrat  you must assume that any tax cut must be revenue neutral. That is, any tax cut must be made up elsewhere in the tax code so there is no loss of government income. That is a myth based on the idea that taxes are at an acceptable level today, Our corporate tax is the highest in the world today, which puts our corporations at a disadvantage compared to other countries. The problem, of course, is government spending. The cost of government never seems to go down. Salaries go up and up. Pensions are generous. The top 1% pay 39% of all taxes paid. The bottom half pay 3% of taxes.

But the Democrats are fighting to protect a $1.8 trillion tax break that benefits the top !%. So much for all those complaints about Republican tax ideas benefiting only the rich. Republicans tax-cut plans suggested  eliminating state and local tax deductions for those who itemize. It seems that few, other than the very rich, bother to claim this deduction, but it is a very big deal for those who do itemize.

Used to be that government workers received about the same income as those in the same kind of jobs in the private industry. Now you’re way better off working for the government. Possibly we could stop the automatic raises, and get the distinction back to comparable worth for the same kind of  jobs. How about a pay freeze for congressmen? They keep cutting the military pay.



There Are No Tax-Cuts On the Table! by The Elephant's Child
December 2, 2010, 4:04 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Taxes | Tags: , ,

The Hoopla in the House of Representatives has many people confused.  The subject is the Bush Tax Cuts from 2001 and 2003.  George W. Bush was able to get tax cuts for all Americans passed.  Democrats cried “Tax Cuts for the Rich”, but “the rich” got the smallest percentage tax cut of all, and the bottom 40% of taxpayers had to pay no income tax at all.  To get the bill passed, the tax cuts came with an expiration date, which is December 31,2010. Which means that if they are not extended, your taxes will go up — a lot.

Most sentient human beings know that it is supposed to be a very bad idea to raise taxes during a recession, when the economy is struggling to recover. It’s a bad idea politically to raise taxes on the middle class — they don’t like it, and there are a whole lot of them.  But to the leftist mind, “the rich” are very bad people, which is odd, because a great many of them are very rich indeed.  So we have to assume that they believe that disparaging the rich helps them politically.

A recent poll showed that 78% of all those queried said that they would like the tax cuts for households earning under $250,000 to be extended either permanently or for a few years or until the economy fully recovers.  Democrats agreed by 73%.  What about “the rich?” A solid majority (56%) said they wanted tax cuts extended for households with more than $250,000 in income.  Only 39% wanted the rich to pay more.Support for letting the tax cuts be made permanent for the rich is overwhelming for both Republicans and Independents at 63%.  Democrats oppose this by 55%.  Democrats hate tax cuts.

President Obama has claimed that Republicans want to give “the rich” another tax cut, which will cost the Treasury $700 billion which they will have to borrow from other countries.  This is patently false.  Republicans are trying to keep the Democrats from raising your taxes.  Refusing to extend the Bush tax cuts means that taxes would go up for everybody. Capital gains taxes would rise from 15% to 20%.  Estate taxes which are zero right now, would climb to 55% — or over half of anything over $1 million.  To claim that leaving tax rates for the rich right where they are would cost $700 billion simply means that Obama is counting his chickens before they hatch.  He expects $700 billion to come in from increased taxes on the rich — but the rich are perfectly capable of rearranging their finances to they don’t have to pay more.

There are no tax-cuts on the table.

Estimates from the respected Heritage Center for Data Analysis show that over 10 years, letting the bush cuts expire would slash $1.1 trillion from GDP, kill 6.9 million jobs, reduce overall business investment by $330 billion and lower Americans’ disposable income by $726 billion.  A real disaster.

The Twentieth Amendment intended that there would be no such thing as a “Lame Duck Session.”  The amendment was ratified on January 23, 1933, when travel was a lot slower, and no one considered that members of Congress could dash back to the Capitol for another session after the election had been determined.  When a business fires anyone, their things are packed up and they are escorted off the premises immediately, with the undercurrent that they might commit an act of sabotage if they were allowed to linger.  A goodly percentage of the members of Congress have been fired, but they are back in he Capitol building committing what political sabotage they can manage.

This chart from the Heritage Foundation shows that tax receipts as a percentage of GDP remain relatively constant no matter what the top individual tax rate.  (Click to enlarge).



Small Business Doesn’t Much Like ObamaCare Either! by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are debating the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.  They particularly want to end any tax cuts that went to “the rich,” for they have been yapping about “tax cuts for the rich” for the last ten years.

This theme sounds good, and is a favorite populist sound bite.  What Democrats refuse to grasp, because they need that sound bite,  is that many of those who are defined as “the rich” are small business owners who file as individuals. If you own a business, even though you may employ many people, there are advantages to filing as an individual rather than incorporating.

Democrats are anxious to blame the Bush tax cuts, and the War in Iraq for the financial crisis.  “The Bush tax cuts substantially reduced 2006 revenues and expanded the budget deficit,” they say. ” Capital gains tax cuts do not pay for themselves,” they say.  “Raising taxes is the best way to raise revenue,” they say.  “The Bush tax cuts are to blame for the projected long-term budget deficits,” they say. No!  No!  Sorry! And just plain wrong!

The economy usually responds strongly to tax cuts.  Capital gains tax revenues doubled following the 2003 tax cut.  Higher tax revenues correlate with economic growth, not tax rates.  Pro-growth tax cuts support incentives for productive behavior.

Obama has already put in place all sorts of taxes and mandates that will make doing business harder, especially for small businesses, whether in ObamaCare or the Financial Reform bill or in new energy requirements and costs.  The uncertainty about what taxes will be raised, how new government bills will affect them when applied, and what rules will make their activities more difficult has business sitting on their hands and not hiring.  Obama has no one to blame but himself for the dismal unemployment scene, but he continues to blame Bush, and thus solves nothing, nothing at all.




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