Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

This Sunday night, Harris Faulkner will host a major special titled “Harris Faulkner Presents: The Fight for America.” Here’s what we’re told about the special: Harris Faulkner Presents: The Fight for America will be hosted by Outnumbered and Outnumbered Overtime anchor Harris Faulkner, and will spotlight discussions surrounding the national conversation about race in America and the path forward for the country, said network officials. Appearing on the special will be Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), former NFL star Herschel Walker, Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Joe Gamaldi and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, as well as Hannity host Sean Hannity and FNC contributors Dr. Alveda King and Gianno Caldwell.

Cuban better bring his A game. He’s supporting Joe Biden so it’s likely that he’ll try defending Joe Biden’s indefensible history on race. If that’s what Cuban’s role is, Faulkner will carve him up like a Thanksgiving Day turkey.

Tim Scott and Gianno Caldwell have the opportunity to become rock stars Sunday night. Sen. Scott is already approaching superstar status with his persistence and good faith decency in crafting police reform legislation. He’s also known for his Opportunity Zones legislation that was part of the Trump/GOP tax cuts. This is more information on Opportunity Zones:

The program provides three forms of deferred capital gains taxes or tax breaks to incentivize patient capital equity investments in Opportunity Funds to seed new business investments, expand existing businesses, or fund real estate development in Opportunity Zones. Other than excluding a few “sin” businesses, investors are relatively unlimited in what they can finance. And the potential pot is huge; over $6 trillion dollars in unrealized capital gains could flow towards these communities from both individual investors and companies.

Opportunity Zones were credited with lowering minority unemployment rates before the virus. Tim Scott does a better job pitching the legislation than the article:

I wouldn’t be surprised if Sen. Scott came out of Sunday night’s special as the biggest star, though I also think that Herschel Walker has a chance to shine, too.

Saying that Democrats have gone wild with their Biden-Sanders economic plan is understatement. The first topic covered in the Biden-Sanders plan is climate change. It might as well have been written by AOC. It’s that radical:

To reach net-zero emissions as rapidly as possible, Democrats commit to eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035 through technology-neutral standards for clean energy and energy efficiency. We will dramatically expand solar and wind energy deployment through community-based and utility-scale systems. Within five years, we will install 500 million solar panels, including eight million solar roofs and community solar energy systems, and 60,000 made-in-America wind turbines.

The first question I’d have is a simple one. Who’s going to pay for this transformation? In the next paragraph, we get the answer:

Democrats believe that any clean energy infrastructure project financed with federal support, including through the tax code, should come with robust wage and labor requirements. We will build a modern electric grid by investing in interstate transmission projects and advanced, 21st century grid technologies to power communities with clean electricity, including federal support to build sustainable and resilient energy grids in rural America and in tribal areas lacking energy infrastructure. We will reduce methane pollution through robust federal standards and targeted support for repairing and replacing aging distribution systems, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, including for the same pipefitters, insulators, and other workers who built the systems in the first place and who know best how to protect our communities from methane pollution.

We the People won’t have a vote on this boondoggle other than this November. The Biden-Bernie brothers will decide since they’re our betters. This is radicalism on steroids:

This means the elimination of fossil fuels. How do you think coal miners in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana will feel about that? Also, that’s the end of mining in the United States because they rely on cheap, reliable fossil fuels. The Virginia pipeline has already been cancelled due to uncertainty.

The things I’ve written about were found on the first 3 pages of the Biden-Bernie Unity Document. It’s a 110-page document. I will be going through the rest of the document and posting the highlights over the rest of the week. I suspect this will be a multi-part series.

After Democrat nominee Joe Biden’s faux America First announcement, Chief White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow shredded the Democrat’s proposal. Kudlow said “We must, we must not go back to high taxes and high regulations, we must not do that. It defies common sense after this pandemic contraction.”

Typical of Democrats’ tax policy, Biden’s plan is to make US corporations pay the highest tax rate in the world. Couple that with oppressive regulations, especially on the energy industry, and you’d set the economy back a decade or more. Right now, the US is energy independent and energy dominant. The Democrat’s regulations would essentially end fracking, send gas prices and heating prices through the roof and force us to rely on foreign supplies of energy again.

Kudlow continued shredding:

I respect them, and they have a right to do what they’re doing. But Mr. Biden’s going to be raising taxes across the board and then some. He said yesterday or the day before he wants to end something called ‘shareholder capitalism.’ We used to call that the investor class and if you buy for the long run you make a fortune for retirement. He’s opposed to that.

Biden said that he wants to bring medical supply chains home from China, which is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, he’s going about it the wrong way. He’s telling companies to return to the US but then telling them that they’ll get hit with the highest corporate taxes in the world:

This is from the Democrats’/Biden/Sanders plan:

Democrats believe there is a better way. We can and must build a thriving, equitable, and globally competitive clean energy economy that puts workers and communities first and leaves no one behind. We will help rebuild our economy from the COVID-19 pandemic and President Trump’s recession by mobilizing historic, transformative public and private investments to launch a clean energy revolution. We will use federal resources and authorities across all agencies to accelerate development of a clean energy economy and deploy proven clean energy solutions; create millions of family-supporting and union jobs; upgrade and make resilient our energy, water, wastewater, and transportation infrastructure; and develop and manufacture next generation technologies to address the climate crisis right here in the United States. And we will do all this with an eye to equity, access, benefits, and ownership opportunities for frontline communities—because Democrats believe we must embed environmental justice and climate justice at the heart of our policy and governing agenda.

Think Solyndra on steroids. Think taxpayer-funded subsidies for more expensive energy that won’t support the manufacturing industry.

Democrats will also mobilize a diverse new generation of young workers through a corps and cohort challenged to conserve our public lands; deliver new clean energy, including to low income communities and communities of color; and address the changing climate, including through pre-apprenticeship opportunities, joint labor-management registered apprenticeships for training, and direct-hire programs that put good-paying and union jobs within reach for more Americans.

TRANSLATION: Using a government command-and-control model, Democrats will pick winners and losers. Forget market forces determining the efficient distribution of investments. The Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders Democrats think they know what’s best.

By now, everyone living in civilization has heard that the U.S. economy created 4,800,000 jobs in June. Not only that but the unemployment rate dropped from 13.3% to 11.1%. That doesn’t mean that Democrats didn’t try splashing cold water on the report. Pelosi’s statement is classic partisanship:

The early June snapshot in the jobs report, when the economy was opening up too early, does not reflect the coronavirus spiraling out of control, forcing communities that had begun to reopen to close once again.

Unemployment continues to be higher than any previous period since World War II. We have reached 15 straight weeks of more than 1 million Americans applying for unemployment insurance and tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases reported each day, as the critical lifelines that are helping to keep American families and communities above water expire. Economists, scientists and even the Chair of the Fed have indicated that if we don’t deliver the investments in The Heroes Act, we will end up in a worse place economically and health wise.

The economy created 7,500,000 jobs in the last 2 months but Ms. Pelosi insists on accentuating the negative. In fact, she’s lying to make things seem worse than they are. Saying that the coronavirus is “spiraling out of control” is as stupid as when Ms. Pelosi said that “Republicans were trying to get away with murder, George Floyd’s murder”:

What a whack job. Yes, we’re experiencing a spike but we know what we need to do to get that under control. Potentially, that’s a momentary blip because it’s easily fixed. Joe Biden’s tax hikes aren’t a momentary blip. Those would be permanent. The Democrats’ tax policy would certainly push corporations back overseas, which means lower wage growth, lower workforce participation rates, lower consumer confidence and higher unemployment rates for minorities and women.

Speaking of Biden, he apparently couldn’t wait to look stupid:

Biden noted that only a third of the jobs lost in March and April have returned and stressed that “most of those jobs that returned are people on temporary furlough. That means these were the easiest jobs to get back as we reopened cities and states. It’s only going to get harder from here though.”

Nobody thought that we’d get all 40,000,000 jobs back in a month, Joe. The whole point of the PPP was to make sure small businesses could ramp back up the minute we got past the hardest part of the virus. If that’s the criteria, then the PPP, which Nancy Pelosi delayed twice in her attempt to get a few extra items on the Democrats’ wish list, is a huge success.

That bill wasn’t put together by Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer. The PPP was put together by people like Steve Mnuchin, Peter Navarro, Mike Pence, Chuck Grassley and Mitch McConnell. If Biden is elected, only Grassley would be there to put together economic packages that actually work.

Do we really want to return to the Obama-Biden days of shipping jobs overseas? Shouldn’t we prefer the great pre-COVID Trump economy over the 8 years of lackluster economic growth of the Obama-Biden economy?

On August 19, 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump asked African-Americans “what do you have to lose” in voting for him. Back then, then-candidate Trump could only suggest that he could implement policies that would make life better for African-Americans. This year, it isn’t a theoretical ‘what if’ question anymore. This time, African-Americans can figure out for themselves what they have to lose.

For African-Americans living in Minneapolis, they know what they’ve already lost. They’ve lost neighborhoods. They’ve lost their businesses, which were, essentially, their retirement accounts. They’ve lost their life savings and their livelihoods. Contrary to Boy Toy Mayor Jacob Frey’s declaration that these things were just “bricks and mortar”, they were so much more than that. They were their communities. Literally, this meant everything to them. The people who owned property that got destroyed will likely move out. With the DFL ‘leaders’, a joke if I’ve ever heard one, promising (threatening?) to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department, aka MPD, why would people stay? This is what they watched during the early part of the rioting:

This is candidate Trump’s initial appeal to African-Americans:

The last line in the sentence is especially powerful:

“America must reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.”

Just 4 years later, African-Americans earn more, are employed in greater numbers and percentages, and face a brighter future thanks Sen. Tim Scott’s Opportunity Zones legislation. Also during the first 4 years of the Trump presidency, President Trump signed legislation that permanently funded HBCUs, aka Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Between those 2 pieces of legislation, President Trump signed prison reform to undo the mass incarceration of African-Americans.

To the African-American community, if you want a future, it isn’t with the Democrats. They’re part of the racist past. Democrats are the party of the KKK and Jim Crow and now, the party that let your cities burn without attempting to protect your neighborhoods, your pharmacies or your police department. Republicans are the party of Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation and the party of Abolitionists.

Now that you have a lengthy list of comparisons, it’s time for you to decide. Do you want to be taken for granted? If you say yes, then vote Democrat again. If you want to have a bright future, vote for Republicans up and down the ticket.

Powerline’s Scott Johnson has done fantastic work asking questions that the Strib reporters won’t ask. Scott started by highlighting how the reporters didn’t question the model Gov. Walz is using to justify the shutdown. This morning’s post highlights the fact that “the death toll attributed to COVID-19 by the Minnesota authorities ramped up to 79” and that over “two-thirds of the 79 have died in nursing homes or assisted-care living facilities.”

This table shows some of the types of pre-existing conditions decedents had at the time of death:

With the vast majority of Minnesota being rural where they’ve practiced social distancing from the day they were born for multiple generations, why did Gov. Walz opt to shut the entire state down? Why didn’t Gov. Walz opt to trust Minnesotans that they’d make smart decisions if given the CDC guidelines on how to reduce risk of COVID infection? Does Gov. Walz think that Minnesotans aren’t responsive enough to make the proper adjustments?

Daily, President Trump talks about how extraordinary the American people have been throughout this crisis with their social distancing. Does Gov. Walz think that Minnesotans wouldn’t do what the CDC tells them to do? South Dakota’s Kristi Noem didn’t shut the state’s economy down. Instead, she gave the people the information they needed, then let them make good decisions.

The Washington Post tried smearing Noem when there was a COVID outbreak at a meat-packing plant. The media wing of the Democrat Party didn’t include this in their smear:

First of all, the Sioux Falls facility is massive. It has 3,700 employees, of whom fewer than 10% have tested positive for COVID-19. The Sioux Falls facility is one of the main pork producers in the U.S., turning out around 18 million servings of bacon, pork chops, etc., per day. You may wonder, why were so many diagnostic tests performed on employees at that plant? The answer is that Smithfield implemented an aggressive program, in partnership with two major hospital systems, whereby anyone who entered or left the facility was questioned and had his or her temperature taken. Anyone who reported having a cough, etc., or who showed an elevated temperature was tested for COVID-19.

Moreover, the Post article conveyed the impression that the Smithfield plant might become a ghost facility, closed forever due to South Dakota’s failure to elect a Democratic governor. In fact, the plant will reopen in a matter of days.

It sounds like South Dakotans (and South Dakota corporations) want to do the right thing. Will miracles never cease? How can that be? The gospel according to Democrats is that corporations are evil and greedy. Apparently, I shouldn’t take stock in the Democrats’ gospel. Then there’s this:

Smithfield has instituted a series of stringent and detailed processes and protocols that follow the strict guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to effectively manage COVID-19 cases in its operations. These include mandatory 14-day COVID-19 related quarantines with pay as an uncompromising effort to protect its dedicated employees. The company has also relaxed attendance policies to eliminate any punitive effect for missing work due to COVID-19 diagnosis or quarantine. In addition, Smithfield is taking many measures to minimize its team members’ risks of contracting COVID-19. These include adding extra hand sanitizing stations, boosting personal protective equipment, continuing to stress the importance of personal hygiene, enhancing cleaning and disinfection, expanding employee health benefits, implementing thermal scanning, increasing social distancing, installing plexiglass and other physical barriers and restricting all nonessential visitors.

Smithfield took the proper steps to limit the spread, going so far as to relax attendance policies and paying people while they’re quarantined. Smithfield can do that because South Dakota’s taxes are lower.

Gov. Walz and the DFL, hear this. It’s time to open Minnesota’s economy immediately. First, Gov. Walz and the DFL hid behind the U of M model as an excuse. Thanks to Powerlineblog’s great work, the DFL can’t do that anymore. It’s more than possible to operate efficiently and safely in a COVID environment. The DFL needs to either prepare to open the economy up or face a voter backlash this November. If anyone at DFL headquarters thinks that this is playing well with voters, they’re kidding themselves.

The joint statement from Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Schumer is disappointing in that it’s a purely partisan document. While President Trump delivered a measured, serious speech to the nation in which he called for both sides to work together, Pelosi and Schumer chose to push division on Capitol Hill:

We have a public health crisis in this country and the best way to help keep the American people safe and ensure their economic security is for the president to focus on fighting the spread of the coronavirus itself. Alarmingly, the president did not say how the administration will address the lack of coronavirus testing kits throughout the United States.

Tomorrow, we urge Republicans in the House and Senate to help immediately pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill will include free coronavirus testing, paid emergency leave for workers, food security assistance, help to states overburdened by Medicaid costs, and strengthened Unemployment Insurance, among other much-needed measures to keep the American people safe.

Notice that the Democrats’ leadership on Capitol Hill didn’t acknowledge President Trump’s month-long travel ban of people coming from Europe, with the exception of the British. That’s a major step. When the Trump administration implemented the travel ban with China, Democrats called President Trump xenophobic. Tonight’s travel ban was met with crickets.

The Democrats’ plan is government-centric. President Trump’s plan is a mix of making sure that the US health care system stays strong, reducing international travel, financially helping workers who get infected with the virus and relying on the best public health system in the world to get us through this crisis. This isn’t just a ‘whole of government’ approach. President Trump’s plan is a whole of America plan.

Compare the Pelosi-Schumer 2 paragraph statement with this Rubio-Gingrich op-ed:

First, the U.S. government should empower our robust private business sector to expand in order to meet new demand for medical supplies. Congress should cut taxes on manufacturers committing to new capital spending in America by making permanent the accelerated cost depreciation measures in the 2017 Republican tax law. New medical structures and equipment should be temporarily singled out for additional reductions.

Second, agencies with lending operations like the U.S. Small Business Administration should make low-cost capital available to businesses seeking to solve their supply chain problems by bringing production in-house to America, or otherwise buying from American small businesses.

Third, as American businesses struggle with supply chain disruptions due to the coronavirus, the U.S. government must resolve any tax, regulatory or capital barrier preventing a new, trusted source from emerging.

The Pelosi-Schumer plan does nothing to address this frightening situation. The thought that China has this much of a grip on our medicines is totally unacceptable. From the start of his administration, President Trump has worked hard to eliminate US reliance on Chinese products. This proves that he’s right, especially in light of this crisis. This isn’t just a health crisis. It’s a national security crisis, too.

It’s time for Pelosi and Schumer to start putting America first rather than playing partisan games. They’re welcome to join the Put America First Team anytime.

Thomas Edsall’s article is a lengthy read but a worthwhile read. Deep into the article, Edsall quoted Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird, political scientists at Duke and Bowdoin, as saying “Political solidarity has been a crucial political asset of black Americans during a long struggle against racial injustice, and a few symbolic gestures or policy initiatives won’t win significant black support for Republicans.”

Do White and Laird think that criminal justice reform, opportunity scholarships, record minority unemployment and the IMPACT Act as “a few symbolic gestures or policy initiatives?” It isn’t surprising that White and Laird are “the authors of a new book ‘Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior.” I haven’t read the book but it sounds like White and Laird think that African-Americans are monolithic voters. I find that impossible to believe.

The definition of monolithic is “characterized by massiveness, total uniformity, rigidity, invulnerability, etc.; a monolithic society.” During the early primaries, liberal pundits speculated that Pete Buttigieg would have difficulty attracting African-American voters because he’s gay. Some African-Americans still voted for Buttigieg but African-Americans who were also evangelical Christians found Buttigieg’s holier-than-thou attitude off-putting.

White and Laird’s theory might turn out right. Still, betting on monoliths is foolish. Betting on monolithic structures when we’ve seen dynamic changes like this happen isn’t foolish, it’s stupid:

The definition of symbolic gesture is “an act that has no purpose or effect other than to show support, respect, etc.” Opportunity Zones aren’t symbolic. They’re substantive. According to Sen. Tim Scott, his legislation will provide “workforce training opportunities to better education to businesses being attracted into these opportunity zones.”

Those aren’t token gestures. Those are the types of things that make multi-generational, substantive improvements. Charles Payne is right in stating that Sen. Scott would be on the cover of Time Magazine if he was a Democrat who got this legislation enacted.

This article is pessimistic about the Republicans making gains with African-Americans. I think that too many African-American people’s lives have improved for the vote to essentially stay the same. This fall, we’ll see whose prediction is right.

PS- Anyone betting against Candace Owens and Tim Scott is foolish.

This article highlights the dissent within the Democratic Party. This isn’t a riff between 2 competing but similar wings of the party. It’s the type of article that rips the mask off the Democrats.

The setting of the first story is Allegheny County. The article talks about “committeewoman Heather Kass, who is running for the state House. Several years ago, Kass posted on social media criticism of Obamacare and the distribution of free Narcan for addicts—and insinuated support for President Donald Trump.”

The article then talks about the criticism Kass received:

Fortunately for Kass, she received 49 votes from the committee to secure its endorsement. Her opponent, liberal activist Jess Benham, received just 19. That’s when things got interesting. Darrin Kelly, an influential local labor leader, issued a statement blasting Kass’s previous statements. The party hierarchy followed that up by saying her social media history was disqualifying.

The fight soon unraveled in many different directions and tested a party that has comfortably come together and built a force that helped keep a Democrat as the chief executive officer for five consecutive terms and keep a majority of the county council seats. Now accusations of disloyalty and closet Trumpism are being tossed around by the liberal wing of the party. The factions that once worked together well enough to enjoy a healthy coalition are splintering.

Party Chairwoman Eileen Kelly held a press conference defending the endorsement process and encouraging forgiveness of Kass’s past social media posts. But in response, locally elected Democrats including two of the county’s congressmen, Representatives Mike Doyle and Conor Lamb, demanded her resignation.

What’s with that? I thought that Lamb was a centrist. Now he’s demanding the resignation of a party chairwoman who’s defended the endorsed candidate. That’s the opposite of being a centrist. This helps explain why the Democrats are falling apart:

Places such as Allegheny and Lancaster counties have made strides in elections with Democratic candidates who ran and won as centrists. Once they are elected, however, local party apparatuses start to demand more fidelity to liberalism, and the national party stresses it in messaging. But these are the kinds of places where any gains that were made since Trump was elected may start to fall apart.

This fits with my theory that moderate Democrats are Democrats while they’re running for office the first time. After they’ve served one term, they accumulate the worst thing a centrist can acquire — a voting record. That’s what I call Tarryl Clark Disease, named after the woman Michele Bachmann gave the nickname Taxin’ Tarryl Clark. Here’s how she became famous:

Conor Lamb isn’t a moderate. He’s just moderate compared with crazies like Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler. That trio are looney toons. Despite the Democrats’ foolishness, Republicans must work hard. Republicans need to run like they’re 1 point behind with 3 weeks left in the race. If they maintain that attitude, they’ll win. If Republicans get complacent, they’ll lose. It’s that simple.

This article is built on the myth that there’s such a thing as a moderate Democrat. That critter hasn’t existed since President Obama’s inauguration. In 2007, Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, then the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, insisted that the DFL majority was a fiscally moderate caucus. Less than 2 months later, DFL Rep. Cy Thao told GOP Rep. Steve Gottwalt at a committee hearing that “When you guys win, you get to keep your money. When we win, we take your money.

That same year, when asked about all the tax hikes hidden in his transportation bill, DFL State Sen. Steve Murphy saidI’m not trying to fool anybody. There’s a lot of taxes in this bill.” The DFL of 2007 isn’t as nutty as today’s DFL.

Democrat superdelegates are planning how to steal the Democrats’ presidential nomination from Bernie Sanders. They aren’t hiding their plans. They’re simply telling reporters what they’re planning and why they’re motivated to steal the nomination from Sen. Sanders:

From California to the Carolinas, and North Dakota to Ohio, the party leaders say they worry that Mr. Sanders, a democratic socialist with passionate but limited support so far, will lose to President Trump, and drag down moderate House and Senate candidates in swing states with his left-wing agenda of “Medicare for all” and free four-year public college.

Earlier this week, Newt Gingrich announced that he’s writing a book about House Democrats that he calls “the radical 200.” Newt then said that “the entire Democratic Party is marching off a left-wing cliff. There’s a bill, for example, that would raise the FICA Tax, your Social Security tax, by 19% and they had 206 Democrats signed onto it.”

Social Security is the third rail of American politics. Anyone that thinks that these Democrats aren’t in huge trouble is kidding themselves. That’s political suicide. Ed Morrissey puts it quite succinctly in this post:

The superdelegates and other party officials are warning Pelosi and Schumer that vacillation will cost them their party, one way or the other. It’s not just the megadonors who see Sanders as a disaster on a grand enough scale that they’re willing to risk utter ruination to stop it. If the party leaders won’t lead, these same establishment figures will start looking for replacements who can.

When people claim that Sanders’ rise is not really that big of a deal and that he’s not as extreme as he’s being painted, they should read this NYT report carefully. Democrats aren’t making these kinds of plans over someone who’s just a skosh off their center. They know Sanders better than most, and they’re outright scared of putting him within voting range of the White House, enough to burn the party to the ground to stop it. That tells us all we need to know about Sanders.

Bill Clinton’s Democrat Party doesn’t exist anymore. Barack Obama’s Democratic Party exists by its fingertips. By the time the electors assemble in the state capitols, that Democratic Party will be almost as extinct as the Dodo Bird. The so-called moderates sound moderate until they get their election certificates. That’s when they turn into AOC supporters.

Democrats would be wise in the long-term if they jettisoned Bernie, AOC, et al. They wouldn’t have to sound totally nutty on the environment. Democrats wouldn’t have to treat farmers and other blue collar workers like dirt like AOC treats them like dirt. Best of all, Democrats wouldn’t have to live in fear of getting primaried.