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DC Economics ‘Experts’: Too Much ‘DC’ – Not Enough ‘Economics’

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

More Out of Balance than Ever

Steve Forbes, Larry Kudlow, Arthur B. Laffer and Stephen Moore are four big name Washington, D.C. free market economic “experts.”  They have for decades been ensconced inside the Beltway – doling out their brands of reform.

But as we have seen from nigh anyone who enters the belly of the DC Beast – people grow comfortable, and start to stray from the less government ideas that brought them there.

Rather than rock the boat – they’d prefer to remain comfortably aboard.

DC is now a $4-trillion-a-year luxury liner.  Retaining your all-access-passage – far too often trumps adhering to better policy.

Art Laffer was the first to deviate from the conservative norm.  He has for years been a leading champion of the Marketplace Fairness Act.  An absolutely awful federal law that would empower state governments to collect sales and use taxes – from companies not located in those states.

Get that?  This is the quintessential example of taxation without representation. More

Uber-Left Google’s Major Move – Flooding the Right with Cash

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

When the
Right Flips for Left Cash

Google is almost inarguably the dominant company on the Left.  So ensconced are they in the highest of high Left political circles, they basically owned and operated the Barack Obama Administration.

Google and the administration were an incestuous staff revolving door.  And Obama, Inc. was an eight-year Pez dispenser of Google-crony policies.  Whatever Google wanted – Google got.  And Google continues its complete subjugation of the post-Obama Left-Democrats.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ran against Obama, Inc. – and won.  And has set about doing what he said he would do – undoing lots and lots of Obama, Inc. policies.  Including the raft of cronyism Google received.

Which has the Left-Democrats and their fellow travelers in the media – freaking out.  At Google’s behest, of course.  Speaking of the media, how dominant of…everything is Google?  They and their Silicon Valley cohorts are paradigm shifting the entirety of the media – even further Left.  As sportswriter Jason Whitlock just astutely observed:

“The entire media has moved far left. The media used to cater to New York, the hub for traditional liberal values. Journalists used to be obsessed with working at a New York magazine or newspaper or TV network. Now the entire industry is obsessed with going viral and how words will be received via social media.

“Who determines this? San Francisco/Silicon Valley, the hub for revolutionary, far-left extremism, the home base for Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook’s employee base is from the area. New York and San Francisco are distinctly different. San Francisco is driving the American media, not New York. More

The Border Adjustment Tax: If You’re Right – You Don’t Have to Lie

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Once Lost, Integrity is Difficult to Regain

I like Bill Buckley, Frederic Bastiat, Milton Friedman and a whole host of other conservative luminaries.  But I am a conservative first and foremost – because I loathe lies and liars.  And Leftism – is a giant lie.

All the lies told by all of Leftism’s practitioners – are told in service of hiding the fact that the Big Idea behind all of it is hopelessly failed and fraudulent.  What is particularly annoying for a conservative – is when other conservatives do their best Left impersonations, and lie to advance a bad idea.

I speak of the very good idea that is the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) – and the lies some conservatives are telling to try to stop it.

What is the BAT?: “Under (this) tax reform, this system would not tax the exports of American companies, but would tax the gross value of any imports into the country. The new rate of tax on corporations is expected to be 20 percent, so that would also be the de facto rate of tax on imports.

“U.S. companies would immediately be on equal footing with their international competitors, the great majority of whom benefit from territorial taxation and border adjustability today.  American firms would be further advantaged by tax reform’s low 20 percent tax rate on corporations (down from a global high 35 percent today), and full business expensing of asset purchases (replacing multi-year depreciation deductions).

“Instead of taxing exports and not imports, we’d be taxing imports and not exports. Instead of reading about corporate inversions and outsourcing, we’d be reading about jobs and firms moving into the U.S. to take advantage of the favorable tax rules here.” More

Trump is About to Shed an Obama Holdover – May It Be the Lead of a Long Train

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

We’re Going to Need a
Whole Lot More Huge Hands

We have spent just about the entirety of the nascent Donald Trump Administration imploring them to rid themselves of every single Barack Obama Administration holdover they can identify.  And that they dedicate specific staff members – who spend their entire time identifying Obama Administration holdovers.

The incoming Trump Administration represents a nigh 180 degree reversal of just about all things outgoing Obama Administration.  And Obama Administration officials aren’t taking the transition lying down.

It was just yesterday reported that Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice spent her last months in office using our national security apparatuses to compile massive data on Obama Administration political enemies – specifically, incoming Trump Administration officials.

And then unmasking them.  People who are masked – are supposed to stay masked: “Individuals in the U.S. who (were) not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations.”

How very Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of her. More

Intellectual Property: No One Wants to Pay – Everyone Wants to Get Paid

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

The Big Shill:
Massive Hypocrisy –
and Juicy Rationalizations

“Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.”  Francois de La Rochefoucauld exquisitely captured Man’s inherent inconsistency to Man.

Hand in hand with hypocrisy – goes rationalization.  Which an exchange in the flick “The Big Chill” aptly describes thus:

Michael: “Don’t knock rationalization.  Where would we be without it?  I don’t know anyone who can get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations.  They’re more important than sex.”

Sam: “Aww come on – nothing’s more important than sex.”

Michael: “Oh yeah?  Have you ever gone a week without a rationalization?”

Immediately prior to this, actor Jeff Goldblum’s Michael perfectly describes the hypocrisy-rationalization nexus:

“I’m not even claiming that people always think they’re doing the right thing.  They may know they’re doing something dishonest, insensitive or manipulative – but they almost always think there’s a good reason for doing it.  They almost always think it will turn out for the best in the end.  And even it just turns out best for them – because by definition what’s best for them is what’s best….Really all that’s happening is I’m trying to get what I want.  Which is what everybody does.” More

Phil Gramm is Woefully Wrong on the Border Adjustment Tax

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Still His Approach Today

I have long liked former Texas Congressman, Senator and presidential candidate Phil Gramm.  I in fact voted for him in the 1996 Republican presidential primary.  The one time I got to meet him – years thereafter, at a UBS event (with whom he’d landed a post-politics gig) – I told him I had cast a presidential ballot for him.  His response was a deadpan “That was you?”

Gramm received my 1996 vote – in part because of a move he made in 1983.  Then a conservative Democrat Congressman, Gramm had been just about excommunicated from the Donkey Party for working on budget issues with Republican President Ronald Reagan.  So he announced he would switch Parties – and that he would resign his seat to do it.  Having been elected as a Democrat, he felt it dishonest to make the change without again facing the voters.  His voters re-ensconced him in a special election.

Gramm called his move: “(T)he only honorable course.”  He described his situation thus: “My crime was that I dared to practice in Washington what I preached here at home….That I should be punished for representing the people who sent me to Washington is unfair.” More

Apple Sues to Get Paid for their Intellectual Property – and to Not Pay for Everyone Else’s

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Snooki –
NOT an Experienced
DC Hypocrisy Observer

As someone who for a living follows Washington, D.C. and its denizens – I have developed a pretty high threshold for hypocrisy.  Perhaps part of it is innate – I was born just outside of DC, so maybe being so close to the source puts something in the water that inoculates you.

No matter how or why – it takes some whiplash-inducing dissimulation to garner my attention and interest.  In the field of intellectual property (IP) and its protection (or lack thereof) – my high hypocrisy resistance is routinely overwhelmed.

There is currently underway an IP fight – that is full-on hypocrisy overload.  And the company causing my neck to spin all the way round – like an owl eyeing a sprinting mouse – is Apple.

Apple Sues Qualcomm Over Patent Royalties: “Apple also wants back some of the billions of dollars it claims it was overcharged in ‘Qualcomm’s illegal scheme’ to control the market for mobile phone chips.”

No, what Qualcomm is doing – is engaging in a legal, very reasonable effort to control the market for its patents.  Apple wanted to use Qualcomm’s patents, Apple signed contracts to use them, Apple used them – and now Apple is trying to get out of paying for using them.

Having not a toe – let alone a leg – on which to stand, Apple Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Cook is hurling lame insults and really terrible, totally un-analogous analogies: “Cook took a shot at Qualcomm, one of the main chip suppliers for the iPhone…Apple sued the chipmaker earlier this month,…alleging that Qualcomm charges Apple ‘at least five times more in’ royalty payments than all of Apple’s other patent licensors combined.”

Look, I don’t manufacture smart phones – so I don’t know if Cook’s charge that Qualcomm charges that much more than everyone else is true.  What I do know – is that at this point in the process, it is utterly irrelevant.  Apple signed patent deals at those rates – so Apple needs to pay those rates. More

Republican Business Tax Reform: Less Government in Businesses’ Wallets – and Yours

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Finally Headed in the Right Direction

Congress hasn’t done major tax reform since 1986.  We are WAY past due.  And it is WAY past necessary.

The current tax code is an economy-stifling combination of sky-high rates – and stupid mandates and stipulations.  Most of what our government has ensconced in tax law – works to drive businesses out of business and out of the country.  Taking with them the jobs and salaries they proffer.

Our elected officials say they want to foster a business-friendly environment – so as to make available the most opportunities to the most Americans.  Their tax code belies them.

We invite you into our house – and then our tax code simultaneously picks your pockets and beats you about the head and shoulders with a bat.  We should at least have the decency to not act surprised when you get up and leave.

We need to rewrite tax law – that has for decades incentivized a mass American business exodus. This America Last, “Made In America Tax” code – is terrible policy. More

It’s Not ‘Free Trade’ – If They’re Stealing Tons of Our Stuff

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Let’s Stop the Theft, Shall We?

President Donald Trump became President Donald Trump because he saw a whole host of naked emperors – and publicly pointed out the dearth of respective wardrobes.  Establishment Washington, D.C. has spent decades pretending a whole host of things labeled “A” – are “Not A.”

We the People were tired of DC lying to us – and itself.  So we elected Trump – the guy who joined with us in decrying the lies.  “Drain the Swamp,” anyone?

The examples of DC snowing us – are myriad.  Social Security and Medicare are a combined nearly $300 trillion short – a looming cataclysm of monumental proportions.  Yet in DC, both are hailed as “successes.”  Obamacare is a premium-and-deductible-exploding, choice-contracting disaster.  Yet in DC – it is another “success.”

And then there’s DC’s definition of “free trade.”  In which DC has for decades cut one-sided deals – in which we didn’t impose any limits on imports, while nigh every other nation on the planet imposed all sorts of taxes and limits on the things we export to them (while subsidizing the daylight out of their domestic production).

The United States is an $18-trillion-Gross-Domestic-Product-800-pound-gorilla in the global trade room.  We have leverage to burn when it comes to cutting deals.  We have thus far used…none of it. More

Do We Want the Tax Code to Prioritize Job Exporters – or Job Importers?

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

A Little Birdie Told Him – But He Didn’t Listen

I loathe taxes.  I loathe the concept of anything or anyone having mandated access to the money I earn.  They didn’t get up at 4:10am to go to the gym – so as to be able to begin work at 6am.  Day after day, every day – for years and years.  Why do they get a huge and growing chunk of any resulting coin?  It is offensive.

My late grandfather felt…similarly.  (Is this genetic?  I’m betting it at least partially is.)  If you mentioned the Internal Revenue Service in his presence, he would immediately spin to you and with a steely gaze hiss “They’re not the IRS – they’re The Assassins.”  And he wouldn’t let you call them anything else.  He wasn’t wrong (ask the Tea Party).

On this I am totally with the Libertarians – taxation is theft.  But I am a Realist.  In the panoply of evils – taxation is a necessary one.  It is absolutely not necessary in the omni-directional ways and at the confiscatory levels at which it currently exists.  But my organization is called Less Government – not No Government.  We need some government (Hello, Constitution – and its curtailed, delineated limits).  So we need some taxes.

The question then becomes – how to tax?  Taxation being theft – it damages the things subjected to it.  We Realists understand dynamic analysis – that government actions have private sector reactions.  And we Realists understand human nature.

It is we Realists who observe government for decades taxing people who work and paying people who don’t work – and are not surprised by a persistent perpetual underclass of people not working.  Even the Left occassinsaly cops to the effects of government action.  As demonstrated by their incessant pushes to tax all daylight out of cigarettes and sodas – to get people to stop purchasing them.  (That is allegedly their intent – of course they don’t in the slightest mind all the additional government money taken thereby.) More