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Walmart Isn’t Conservative – Walmart is a Massive DC Self-Interested Special Interest

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Another Contributor to the America Last Approach

Walmart and the founding Walton family have long been seen as conservative stalwarts.  The Waltons have indeed contributed much money to conservative causes – much to the Left’s chagrin.

Walmart has long been a Leftist bogeyman – in large part because they remain rightly, reasonably opposed to the unionization of their stores.  Which drove the Left nuts.  And led to years of union-funded Leftist campaigns against the company.

To aid in their defense against this onslaught, the Waltons elicited conservative assistance.  Because conservatives bizarrely think people should be free to choose whether or not to join unions – and unions do not.

And it worked – Walmart remains a right-to-work entity.  God bless America.

But as time has marched on, it’s looking more and more like the Waltons cut these checks not in the interest of ideology – but in the interest of Walmart protectionism.  On a whole host of other issues, Walmart has been anything but conservative.

Which tells all of us what many of us have all along known – Walmart is just another massive, massively self-interested Washington, D.C. special interest.

Walmart has long been a lead outside champion of a ridiculous tax increase scheme ridiculously misnamed the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA).  Their brick-and-mortar stores have to collect sales and use taxes for the states and localities in which they are located.  Internet companies that sell in those states and localities but are not located there – do not. More

Apple: ‘We Won’t Pay You. We’ll Keep Using Your Stuff – But We Won’t Pay You’

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

We Really Wish They Would

I loathe thieves.  You want something – you pay for it.  It really is just that simple.  So when it comes to wanton thievery of the magnitude that follows – I get more than a little perturbed.

Computer giant Apple is currently in a huge intellectual property dispute with tech innovation giant Qualcomm.  I’m no lawyer (which perhaps affords me some additional clarity of thought which law school eradicates) – but this is pretty cut-and-dry, massive scale theft.

Here’s the deal: Qualcomm has some patented items which Apple needs to make its iPhones and cellular iPads.  Qualcomm and Apple negotiated an agreement – where Apple would pay Qualcomm in exchange for permission to use the patented items.  Lawyers drafted contracts – and representatives from both Apple and Qualcomm signed them.

End of story, right?  Of course not.  This is Brave New America – where even blatantly obvious obligations can and will be willfully ignored.

Apple Halts License Payments to Qualcomm in ‘All-Out War’: “Apple Inc. cut off billions of dollars in payments to Qualcomm Inc., turning a contract dispute into what one analyst called an ‘all-out war’ that forced the chip supplier to slash forecasts given only days ago….Shares fell as much as 4.1 percent to $51.05 Friday morning. It was the lowest intraday price since June.”

Get that?  The chip supplier forced to “slash forecasts given only days ago” – is Qualcomm.  Through no fault of their own, Qualcomm is having its entire company downgraded because of one titanic deadbeat – Apple: More

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