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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office put out a less-than-comprehensive list of companies that are either paying their employees bonuses, increasing their hourly wages or adding to their employees’ 401(k)s. The question I have is simple. How long will this list get?

For instance, the report says that “American Airlines Group Inc … and peer Southwest Airlines Co” will “give their employees a $1,000 bonus in light of the recent tax reform bill.” Later, the report states that “Aflac makes the following commitment to our U.S. workforce: 1. Increase the company’s 401(k) match, from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of employee contribution, while making a one-time contribution of $500 to every employee’s 401(k) plan and 2. Offer certain hospital and accident insurance products to all employees free of charge, as the company currently does with its core cancer insurance product.” (Aflac, Press Release, 12/28/2017)

I’m just getting started. The list isn’t comprehensive but it’s quite extensive. Another company getting in on the action is IAT. “IAT Insurance Group ownership and management announced today the company will pay a $3,000 bonus to all non-executive employees on January 15, 2018. The additional bonus comes in response to the newly passed tax reform bill – the tax savings will be shared with approximately 700 employees.” (“IAT Insurance Group Announces $3,000 Tax Reform Bonus for Employees,” Fox8, 12/22/2017)

It’s frightening to think that this tax relief was brought to these workers all across the nation by the Republican Party. It didn’t come from Republicans and Democrats because every Democrat in the House and Senate voted against the Republicans’ tax cuts. That means ‘bipartisan’ Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly voted against the tax bill that’s bringing relief to hundreds of thousands of non-executive employees.

Then there’s this:

FIFTH THIRD BANK: “Fifth Third Bancorp will pay more than 13,500 employees a bonus and raise the minimum wage for its workforce to $15 after the passage of the Republican tax plan that will cut the bank’s corporate tax rate.” (“Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp Unveil Minimum Wage Hikes After Tax Bill Passage,” CNBC, 12/20/2017)

Whichever way you cut this, it’s great news for employees. Each day, the list of people who are directly benefitting from the corporate tax cuts gets longer. Promises to invest in the companies’ personnel keeps growing, too. At some point, it’s going to become obvious that Sen. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi either don’t know what they’re talking about or they’re just liars.

Let’s pound this point home. Democrats put a higher priority on fighting President Trump than they put on helping taxpayers. The evidence keeps mounting proving that. It’s time for Democrats to just admit that they screwed up in voting unanimously against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They accomplished part of their mission in that they achieved solidarity within their ranks. Unfortunately for the American people, that’s failing because the Democrats’ purpose is to help the American people. On that, they failed miserably.

America, the choice is simple. Do you want people running the House and Senate who don’t do what’s right for the people? If that’s what you want, vote for Democrats. If you’d prefer electing politicians who listen to the people and who do the right thing, the only right thing to do is voting for Republicans. Yes, they stumble and fail at times. They aren’t perfect. Still, they’re the people who listen and do the right thing.

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It’s pretty apparent that David Frum’s TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) symptoms are showing. His article, titled “Conservatism Can’t Survive Donald Trump Intact,” is mostly a defense of Jennifer Rubin’s intellectually dishonest criticisms of Republicans. Still, with a title like that, it’s important to demolish the premise that Donald Trump is leaving the GOP in tatters.

It’s important to rattle through the lengthy list of positive accomplishments that President Trump, with the help of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, has helped turn into a reality. Prior to passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, getting Neil Gorsuch confirmed was the signature accomplishment. Having him sit on the Supreme Court for the next 25 years is a major accomplishment by itself. One of the things that hasn’t gotten much attention but that’s playing a major part in the Trump Boom is eliminating tons of counterproductive regulations by using the Congressional Review Act. On a slightly different front, President Trump has reigned in presidential abuse of the Antiquities Act by shrinking a bunch of national monuments, thereby returning tons of acreage to local control.

Passing tax cuts and getting Neil Gorsuch confirmed would be a pretty nice year if he got nothing else accomplished. The good news is that President Trump has gotten lots of other important things accomplished. Again, thanks to Mitch McConnell’s and Chuck Grassley’s efforts, 12 “fully qualified” conservative appellate court judges got confirmed in President Trump’s first year.

The Wall Street Journal gets it right in this article:

President Donald Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress, who opened their first year in full control of Washington on rocky terms, are closing it with a flush of late legislative achievements: a sweeping tax overhaul, a long-sought repeal of a pillar of the Affordable Care Act and a surprise deal to open up Arctic drilling.

I’ve repeatedly said that the economy is finally growing at a robust pace. Consumer confidence is soaring. Unemployment is at a 17-year low and it’s about to get lower. GDP is expected to grow at 4% or higher during Q4 of 2017.

For years, the goal was for the United States to become energy independent. Thanks to rolling back a ton of Obama-era environmental regulations through the Congressional Review Act, the U.S. isn’t just energy independent. We’re on the verge of becoming energy dominant.

For years, Republicans have talked about energy independence, cutting taxes, confirming the next generation of conservative judges and getting the economy hitting on all cylinders. President Trump and Sen. McConnell worked together to get the judges approved. Then Sen. McConnell and Speaker Ryan worked with President Trump to cut taxes, get the economy humming and delivering on energy dominance.

To this conservative, I’m better than ok with that checklist of accomplishments. The start was bumpy but the finish of President Trump’s first year is pretty smooth.

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My conservative friends, it’s time to be honest about a few things. It’s time we admitted that the first 6 months of the Trump administration were stressful, sometimes heartbreaking times. When Sen. McCain gave the thumbs-down to eliminating Obamacare, Republicans’ spirits were pretty low. It’s also time we admitted that the past 6 months have improved significantly. The highlight of the first 6 months was confirming Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The past 6 months, though, have been just as consequential to the judiciary.

Since confirming Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the Senate has confirmed 12 highly qualified judges to the appellate courts, the most confirmations in the first year of a president’s term in office since our republic was established. To steal a slightly modified version of Joe Biden’s phrase, it’s a big deal to change the direction of the federal judiciary for a generation or more. Hold that thought, though.

Next, picture Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The thought of a Senate Majority Leader Schumer should frighten conservatives who care about the court more than a Speaker Pelosi. Seriously. Pelosi can’t pass anything that can’t be undone the minute Republicans retake control, most likely in 2020. Sen. Schumer, though, can halt the confirmation of great conservative judges in a heartbeat. Judges like Gorsuch, Willett and others would be flushed down the toilet in a heartbeat because Sen. Schumer would demand ‘consensus’ judges. That’s liberalspeak for liberal judges in the mold of David Souter.

That’s just one thing that should get Republicans fired up. Another thing that should get us fired up is undoing more of the Obama legacy. I don’t have to be the world’s greatest salesperson to convince Republicans that Obamacare and Dodd-Frank were disastrous pieces of legislation. In order to kill those bills outright, we need the House and Senate under GOP control.

Thus far, the MSM has insisted that there’s a blue wave building. I haven’t bought into that, though I agree that there’s an enthusiasm gap favoring Democrats right now. The good news is that Republicans can make that disappear in a heartbeat if they get inspired to turn out and vote for a new wave of GOP senators, congressmen, state legislators and governors. Picture this guy getting sworn in as Minnesota’s next governor:

Whether you support him or not, there’s no disputing that, as a conservative, I’d rather have him as governor as opposed to having her as our next governor:

Making Minnesota great is totally possible. Making America great is possible, too. Now’s the time to realize just how much we’ve accomplished in DC thanks to one-party rule. Now’s the time to realize how much more we could’ve accomplished in St. Paul if we’d had a Republican to go along with Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

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The MSM have constantly criticized President Trump, mostly for his tweets but also for his lack of legislative accomplishments. Yesterday, the House and Senate passed the most sweeping tax policy changes in a generation. (Because of a couple provisions that ran afoul of the Senate’s parliamentarian, the Senate had to make a couple changes to the bill before voting on final passage. Because the 2 bills aren’t perfectly aligned, the House will vote this morning on the bill the Senate passed last night.) Once the identical bill is passed in both the House and Senate, it will be sent to the White House for President Trump’s signature.

This article is the first of its kind in the MSM, which has been all-criticism-all-the-time until now. Let’s get started with the things Axios reports President Trump has gotten right. First, Axios reports that “The tax bill passed with almost unanimous Republican support, before the end of the year, and in keeping with mostly mainstream conservative orthodoxy. Trump won a bigger corporate tax break than either Bush ever got, and will sign the most consequential new tax law in 30 years.”

Without question, this is a signature issue that’s worth trumpeting to the world. The economy is already going strong. It’s about to get stronger. While the Berniecrats advocate for stifling tax rate hikes and slow economic growth, President Trump and the Republicans are pushing policies that have consumer confidence soaring, 401(k)s growing, small business enthusiasm increasing and big corporations returning to the United States. It won’t take long for people to notice that their lives just got better. This is another major accomplishment:

Trump has followed through on eviscerating regulations, many of them imposed by Obama. He has revoked 67, and delayed or derailed more than 1,500 others.

This has helped spur economic growth. It’s the single-biggest reason why the economy is robustly growing thus far. All the time that the MSM highlighted that Trump didn’t have any major legislative accomplishments, President Trump worked with Congress to eliminate tons of counterproductive regulations. That’s the single-biggest reason why economic growth took off when he took over from President Obama.

This is the biggest accomplishment for full-spectrum conservatives:

Trump has tilted the court rightward in lasting ways. Justice Neil Gorsuch was a substantial, conservative addition to the Supreme Court. And it wasn’t a one-off: The dozen new U.S. Circuit Court judges he has named is the most during a president’s first year in office in more than a century.

It’s impossible to overstate this accomplishment. President Trump worked with the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society to pull together a ton of highly qualified judicial nominees. In his first year alone, he’s got conservatives thrilled with his nominees. (Noteworthy: For all those criticizing Mitch McConnell, his understanding of Senate procedures and bold decisions have contributed mightily to this accomplishment.)

Before wrapping up this post, I highly recommend you watch the first 2+ minutes of this video:

Isn’t it fun watching Gutfeld stick the shiv into liberals, then giving it a sharp twist?

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Within minutes of the GOP rollout of their tax reform and simplification plan, Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Chris van Hollen were criticizing the plan that they hadn’t seen. Ms. Pelosi called it a Ponzi Scheme, saying “Even after ransacking all the middle-class benefits, Republicans are still adding trillions to the deficit,’ she said, adding that the plan is a ‘scheme to use the debt they pile up today to obliterate Medicare and Medicaid tomorrow.'” Then she said “This is a shell game, a Ponzi scheme that corporate America will perpetrate on the American people. But if you’re the wealthiest 1 percent, Republicans will give you the sun, the moon, and the stars — all of that at the expense of the great middle class.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Schumer wrote this op-ed earlier this week, insisting that “Trump’s plan, by contrast, would slash taxes for the top tax bracket, repeal the estate tax, and create a huge new loophole…”

Sen. van Hollen issued a statement, saying “Ending the state income tax deduction for hardworking families in order to give a massive tax giveaway to big corporations and the very wealthy is sadly par for the course in this Republican tax plan. We will fight it tooth and nail.”

Meanwhile, this plan that the Democrats are criticizing without reading the bill (they have a habit of that, don’t they?) will likely get some Democrats’ votes:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on “The Daily Briefing” today that he expects to have some Senate Democrats support tax reform. He told Dana Perino that there are “at least three” Democrats in the Senate who have signaled they’re likely to be a “yes” on tax reform.

It’s clear that Sen. McConnell relishes the thought of blasting Ms. Pelosi’s statements. That’s the highlight of this video:

McConnell chuckled when Perino played House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Ca.) criticism of the proposal. Pelosi called it “deficit-exploding” and cast it as a “multi-trillion dollar giveaway to the wealthiest and corporations” at the expense of children, seniors and workers. McConnell said the Washington Post rated the claim as “four Pinocchios,” calling it “almost entirely inaccurate.”

McConnell said the bill unveiled today would reduce middle-class taxes and business taxes “to prevent our jobs from being exported to other countries. That’s the core of the bill.”

Let’s set something straight. Democrats are too invested in the Resistance to do the right thing. Telling the truth isn’t part of their action plan. With today’s Democratic Party, ideology trumps doing what’s right.

Later on the show, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the budget and appropriations committees, said the plan is a $2 trillion “windfall” for big corporations, insisting that middle-class families will see higher taxes. “There are millions of middle-class taxpayers who will see their taxes increase in order to provide tax breaks for multinational corporations,” said Van Hollen. He said there are a number of proposals from the Democratic caucus to help working and middle-class families, specifically with child care costs.

Notice van Hollen’s trickery? He isn’t interested in across-the-board tax cuts nor is he interested in tax simplification. He wants specific carve-outs for voting groups he wants to keep voting for Democrats. Further, van Hollen’s idea of tax policy keeps lawyers, lobbyists and accountants fully employed. The GOP plan hopes to limit complexities in the tax code, thereby reducing the cost of tax compliance.

Reducing the cost of tax compliance is a major reduction in expenses to small businesses. To entrepreneurs, cutting compliance costs is just as welcome as cutting tax rates. Either way, it’s more money in their pockets.

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It’s increasingly likely that President Trump will finally notch his first major legislative victory. Reuters is reporting that “U.S. Republican senator Rand Paul on Friday appeared to back the Trump administration’s sweeping tax cut plan, saying he was ‘all in’ for massive tax cuts even as the Senate passed a key budget measure without his support one day earlier.”

Reuters then quoted President Trump’s tweet that said “The Budget passed late last night, 51 to 49. We got ZERO Democrat votes with only Rand Paul (he will vote for Tax Cuts) voting against.” Then President Trump tweeted “This now allows for the passage of large scale Tax Cuts (and Reform), which will be the biggest in the history of our country!” Still later, Sen. “Paul responded with his own tweet, saying, ‘I’m all in for tax cuts @realDonaldTrump. The biggest, boldest cuts possible – and soon!'”

As momentum builds for President Trump’s tax reform legislation, Democrats’ criticism will increase. Here’s what some Democrat senators are saying:

Tim Kaine (VA): “Senate Republicans held this vote on a sham budget to pave the way for their partisan tax plan. Based on what little we know about it, their tax plan could increase taxes on many hardworking Virginia families, put Medicare and Medicaid at risk, and increase the debt by $1.5 trillion. And I’m not okay with that.”

Cory Booker (NJ): “The Senate Republican budget resolution is an abomination. It threatens huge cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and essential programs that help poor families and people with disabilities — all to pay for President Trump’s effort to give massive tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy and well-connected.”

Heidi Heitkamp (ND): “Simply, this bill hurts rural America and that’s why I can’t support it. I’ve long said I want to work on comprehensive, smart tax reforms that help rural economies, and voting against this budget doesn’t change that. But for tax reform to work, Republicans and Democrats need to be at the table as it’s drafted, and any proposal must support workers, families, and retirees.”

Of course, Chuck Schumer wants to paint the tax reform as tax cuts for the wealthy:

“We’re going to also make our Republican colleagues vote on whether they want to raise taxes on the middle class,” Schumer said. “The President claims his tax plan will cut taxes, but it actually will raise them on millions of hard working families. Today, our Republican colleagues will decide whether they want to support those tax increases, or protect the middle class from paying more taxes.”

This show of solidarity will help bring President Trump’s tax reform initiative to a successful conclusion:

Monday, President Trump held a joint press conference with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Click this link to read the transcript.) One of the things President Trump highlighted during the Q and A portion of the presser was how the Democrats’ obstructionism hurt with getting things done for the American people.

Specifically, President Trump said “Just so you understand, the Republican Party is very, very unified. When we get things approved, we have to go through hell because we have no Democrat support, we have nobody. We don’t have a vote from the Democrats. As an example: massive tax cuts — we may not get any Democrat votes. Now, we also may get three of four, but we may get no — for massive tax cuts. We’re the highest-taxed country in the world, and yet we may get no Democrat support. And that’s because they’re obstructionists and they just basically want us to do badly, but that’s not going to happen.”

This can’t get emphasized too much. Think about it this way. Even during the Obama administration, Democrats didn’t pass any reforms that made life better for Americans. Democrats passed the omnibus budget bill that funded the government. Democrats also passed the annual debt ceiling increase. After that, crickets.

That isn’t to say that Republicans shouldn’t get criticized. Susan Collins, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Rand Paul certainly deserve criticism. They’ve lied to their constituents. They’ve let the American people down. McCain and Paul both deserve the highest criticism, though, because I didn’t expect much from Sen. Collins or Sen. Murkowski.

Democrats haven’t offered constructive, substantive policies. They’ve insisted on maintaining the status quo that’s failed the American people the past 8 years. When 2018 comes around, Democrats will have to defend that record of obstruction and advocating for the status quo. Forgive me if I don’t think that’s a winning message.

I can’t say that I’m surprised to hear that Sen. Franken is upset that Judiciary blue slips are soon disappearing. I said in this post that Sen. Franken had spent lots of political capital fighting against Justice Stras’s confirmation to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

After Sen. McConnell announced that blue slips wouldn’t be used as a one-man veto, Sen. Franken announced that he hasn’t given up the fight.

In a statement, Franken said “‘[I]n an attempt to stack the courts with right-wing judges, powerful special interests and conservative groups are pressuring Senate Republicans to kill off the blue slip’. ‘In the face of this pressure, I urge Chairman Grassley to demonstrate the same integrity that [past Democratic chairman] Senator [Patrick] Leahy demonstrated and to protect the prerogatives of all senators — Republican and Democratic alike.'”

What a whiner. I didn’t hear Franken tell President Obama or Sen. Reid that the judges that they stacked the DC Circuit Court of Appeal with were too progressive. Sen. Franken is the ‘senator with a glass jaw.’ Further, it’s a bit much to hear Sen. Franken say that Justice Stras is too conservative when retired Justice Alan Page said “We write to urge that the Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Senate act expeditiously to confirm the nomination of Minnesota Associate Supreme Court Justice David R. Stras to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Justice Stras has all the attributes and qualifications necessary to make an excellent circuit court judge.”

I suspect that Sen. Franken is the extremist, not Justice Stras:

Franken has said he finds Stras too conservative to support. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals already has a number of conservative judges, he argued.

So what? As the last president said in the early days of his administration, “I won.” If Sen. Franken doesn’t like the judges that President Trump nominated, he should try running for president and winning the election. Apparently, Sen. Franken doesn’t like the part about elections having consequences except when Democrats win.

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Kim Strassel’s latest WSJ article perfectly illustrates the threat that the Swamp poses to America. The question that Susan Collins, John McCain and Rand Paul needs to be asked is whether they hate President Trump more than they love America. At this point, it seems like they hate President Trump more than they love America.

Ms. Strassel notes that “Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have also led revolts against bills, again based on shared criticisms. But what do the Arizona maverick, the Maine moderate and the Kentucky libertarian have in common? Very little. Well, very little save motivations that go beyond policy. And that is the crucial point that is missing from the endless analyses of the McCain-Collins-Paul defections on health care. The media has treated the trio’s excuses for killing their party’s top priority as legit, despite the obvious holes in their objections over policy and process. What in fact binds the three is their crafting of identities based primarily on opposition to their party or Mr. Trump.”

Ms. Strassel eviscerates the trio, writing “The press was fixated this week on Mr. McConnell’s bad week, which is an easy piece to write. But it ignores the obvious reality that the Triumvirate seems to have never had any intention of letting its party succeed. After all, a senator who intended to stand firm on “regular order,” as Mr. McCain said, would have informed his colleagues of that demand at the beginning, rather than allow his colleagues to set up for another vote and then dramatically tank it (again) at the last minute. A senator who voted for ‘skinny’ ObamaCare repeal in the summer on the grounds that anything was “better than no repeal,” in the words of Mr. Paul, would not suddenly engineer an unreachable set of demands for his vote on an even better repeal.” This will never be forgotten by Republicans:

Let’s state this clearly. By making up flimsy excuses for why they’re opposing a health care plan that would be dramatically better than the ACA, this trio is proving that they’re putting egos ahead of doing what’s right for the American people. In that way, Paul, McCain and Collins are as disgusting as Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi.

While there are other Republicans who haven’t enthusiastically supported President Trump’s agenda, this trio of traitors should be expelled from chairmanships and plum committee assignments. Rather than calling them “the Never-Trump Triumvirate”, let’s call this trio what they are: the trio who hate President Trump more than they love this nation. What a disgusting bunch. They’re more disgusting than the reptiles protesting during the National Anthem. They’re almost more disgusting than Antifa.

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As with most movement conservatives, I haven’t been Mitch McConnell’s biggest fan. In this post, though, I enthusiastically applaud Sen. McConnell for essentially telling Sen. Schumer to take a hike.

In Steve Benen’s post, it says “With this in mind, the Senate Democratic minority acknowledged yesterday that another tax-reform push is poised to get underway, and they released a letter presenting some benchmarks, including a package that doesn’t cut taxes for the top 1% and doesn’t increase the deficit.”

The Washington Post article quoted in Benen’s post says “Senate Democrats issued a call Tuesday for bipartisan talks on a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax code amid growing pressure from the White House for Republicans to implement aggressive tax cuts before year’s end. Democrats unveiled their request in a letter calling on the GOP to work with them to update the tax code without reducing federal revenue or cutting taxes on the wealthy.” First, it isn’t bipartisanship when the minority party tells the majority party what it won’t do. Demanding that Republicans not cut taxes on “the wealthy” is Democratspeak for raising taxes on small businesses. That’s a non-starter with Republicans.

Still, it’s a welcome demand from a political standpoint. If Republicans reform the tax code instead of just cutting taxes, “the wealthiest 1%” will lose virtually all of their deductions but see their marginal rates stay the same under the Democrats’ proposal. That’s the equivalent of a massive tax increase on the rich. According to Townhall’s Guy Benson, the top 20% of wage earners pay 70% of the taxes. How is that smart economics? How will that jumpstart the economy?

I doubt that Sen. Schumer will force vulnerable Democrats into voting for a massive tax increase for “the wealthy”. That’s his initial bluster but I can’t see him telling Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin III, Bob Casey, Tim Kaine, Jeanne Shaheen or Claire McCaskill to end their political careers.

If Sen. Schumer decides to bully vulnerable Democratic senators into voting against tax simplification, he’ll be the Senate Minority Leader for at least a decade. I don’t think that will happen because I don’t see him being that stupid.

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