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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

Finally, FINALLY, a Democrat Breaks Lockstep Unity Ranks with the Party

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Governor Andrew Cuomo –
Causing the First Hole in the Democrat Dyke in Decades

Give Democrats their due – they don’t deviate from the Party line.  No matter how absurd the things they’re defending are, no matter how insane they look doing it, no matter how much damage they incur in doing it – they do all of it together.  They are the Lemming Party – marching in lockstep off of cliff after cliff.

At this point, it is inordinately difficult to argue that this all-in uniformity is a winning strategy.  Much has been made of newly ex-president Barack Obama presiding over his Party losing over  1,000 seats up and down the ballot.  But while the man, his awful policies and his utter corruption certainly contributed to this nigh total collapse – he himself was reelected in 2012.  He managed to evade personal electoral culpability.

Thus the argument could be made that his fellow Democrats remaining steadfastly loyal to him, his awful policies and his utter corruption – was far and away the bigger contributor to the Party’s national implosion.

Lessons un-learned.  The Democrats’ lockstep loyalty to Hillary Clinton, her awful policies and her utter corruption – delivered political neophyte Republican Donald Trump a huge upset Presidential win.  In large part because Trump ran against just this sort of nonsense.  And since Trump’s victory, the Democrats have as one done everything possible to impede We the People’s duly elected President. 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

NY’s Legislators Rise Up Against Governor Cuomo’s Crony ‘Green Energy’ Boondoggle

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo –
and His Staff

(At least ) two notions from famous Americans come to mind when contemplating New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $8 billion flight of unilateral crony “green energy” fancy.

Playwright George Bernard Shaw noted: “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”  And American social scientist William Graham Sumner penned in 1883 “The Forgotten Man” – in which he rightly identifies the “forgotten men” as the citizens paying for the government fiascos in which politicians engage.

What brings these men’s wise words to a New York state of mind?: “Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a unilateral mass expansion of government – in the name of fighting global warming…oops, I mean climate change: ‘The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) earlier Monday passed a new set of standards that by 2030 is supposed to ensure that half of New York’s energy needs are met by renewable methods, ranging from solar and wind, as well as hydro and nuclear power.’”

Is that gi-normous “green energy” increase possible? Not so much as it is highly improbable: “As of 2015, New York only generated 11% of its energy via renewables. A tally it has taken them decades – and tens of billions of subsidy dollars – to attain. And now they have mandated a nearly 500% increase – in only fifteen years. Predicated, again, upon energy sources that require massive, ongoing government cash infusions – and in most instances take more energy to produce than they provide.”

The lofty “green energy” goals nigh certainly won’t happen – but the massive taxes to pay for the attempt certainly will: “(T)he Public Service Commission also included a new (energy) tax worth $8 billion.” 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

The Government First-Last-and-Only Approach Has Failed: In DC, and New York, and….

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

The Waste Machine

Governments the world over have spent the last century-plus rigidly insisting that they can do…well, everything better than We the Peoples can.  That private citizens, engaged in voluntary interactions amongst themselves – will only blow it.  That government is required to run things – to ensure nothing goes sideways.

As the last century-plus has incessantly demonstrated – these governments couldn’t have been more wrong.  The world allowed its governments to inexorably increase their roles – and everything they touched lurched wholly sideways.

We’ve certainly seen that here in the United States.  Governments at all levels grew and grew – and things kept getting worse and worse.  The federal government thought it could spend our money better than we can.  And it is now $20 trillion in debt – while funding a series of “Feed the Pig” commercials lecturing us about the importance of saving.

The Feds thought they should get into the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and medical insurance businesses.  And now Social Security and Medicare are nearly $300 trillion short.  Meanwhile, the Dow Jones just hit a record-high 20,000.  And the Feds launched Obamacare – another assault on private medical insurance. More

The ‘Border Adjustment Tax’: Great Tax Reform – That Gets Us Great Trade Reform

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Let’s Bring Them Back, Shall We?

Our nation’s tax code is a nightmare mess of thorny brambles.  Interwoven with other thorny brambles.  Behind a high wall of thorny brambles.  It is anti-citizen.  And it is anti-anything-productive citizens choose to do – up to and especially including engaging in anything having to do with business.

Many, many facets of our tax code are anti-Constitution.  For instance – do you like the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal-protection-before-the-law clause?  The tax code doesn’t.  There are seven different individual/family tax rates.  Get that?  One law – seven different rates.  Not even close to equal protection.

Then there are the anti-American-productivity facets.  Do you like doing business?  Or being hired by a business?  Or purchasing things from business?  Our tax code doesn’t.  In a global marketplace – where our businesses are competing against not just businesses across town and from Des Moines and Dallas, but also places like Dubai and Dublin – our government saddles our businesses with the world’s highest corporate tax rate (35%).  Which is…unhelpful.

Now-President Donald Trump is now-President Donald Trump in large part because Candidate Trump repeatedly pointed out that so many things our government does to the citizenry is just this awful.  And Trump rightly saw this as why businesses have spent the last several decades moving out of America. More

Let’s Rollback Bad Government – At All Levels. Because the Emperors Have No Clothes

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Parading Through Governments Everywhere

We have dubbed the Trump ascendancy to the presidency the Reality Revolution.  For decades the Washington, D.C. Establishment Emperor walked around stark naked.  And none of the Establishment Emperor’s Courtiers would point out his “clothes” weren’t clothes – because they were making too much coin pretending they were.

Decades of DC failures – dubbed “successes” by DC’s denizens – have resulted in $20 trillion in debt, nearly $300 trillion in unfunded liabilities for government program “successes” – and thousands and thousands of agencies and programs that are complete wastes of space, effort and coin, that nevertheless live on (and on, and on, and….)

We the People have all along seen (and been repulsed by) the Establishment Emperor’s nakedness.  And have all along seen (and been repulsed by) the Establishment Emperor’s Courtiers playing along and cashing in.

Then, finally, along comes Trump – who matter-of-factly said “Hey, that guy is naked.”  We the People were so thrilled – we rewarded him with the presidency.  Thus far, for the most part, he isn’t disappointing. More

What to Do – and What Not to Do – on Trade Reform

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

All of Them – Everywhere

In advance of the 2008 election, now outgoing President Barack Obama ran on “Hope and Change.”  It was a smart, cynical ploy.  We the People certainly wanted “Change” – but Obama’s “Change” wasn’t even close to what we wanted it to be.

Obama meant “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” – with a massive, omni-directional expansion of government.   We the People wanted – dramatically less government.  We were tired of watching a (now) $4-trillion-a-year federal government screw up nigh everything it touches – whilst insisting on manhandling everything.

Obama wanted transform – we wanted reform.  We still do.  How else to explain the presidential election of Donald Trump?

Trump’s is the Reality Revolution.  Reality is – government stinks at nigh everything.  So rather than having it do even more – Trump intends to have it do less.  Less government regulations everywhere.  Less government in health insurance than Obamacare, less government in finance than Dodd-Frank – and less government everywhere in trade.

Trump ran repeatedly proclaiming “Our country is being ripped off so badly on trade.”  He isn’t wrong.  But this has everyone who is #NeverTrump claiming he is anti-free trade. More

‘Repeal and Replace’: It’s for Much More Than Just Awful Obamacare

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Repeal and Replace: It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

Repeal and Replace” is currently all the rage in Washington, D.C.  As well it should be.  As the newly ensconced Republican trinity (President, Senate and House) work to excavate We the People from the awfulness that is Obamacare.

But there is a whole lot more government awfulness than just Obamacare.  And there is a whole lot more government awfulness than just in Washington.  There are fifty states that have state, county, municipality and city governments – and nigh all of them are doing things that they should be stopped from doing.  “Repeal and Replace” should be a nationwide, multi-level-government phenomenon.

To wit: New York State: “Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a unilateral mass expansion of government – in the name of fighting global warming…oops, I mean climate change: ‘The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) earlier Monday passed a new set of standards that by 2030 is supposed to ensure that half of New York’s energy needs are met by renewable methods, ranging from solar and wind, as well as hydro and nuclear power.’”

(Hey, at least Obamacare [marginally, sketchily] passed through the legislative branch.  This Cuomo, Inc. power grab is via unilateral executive branch fiat.)

Cuomo, Inc’s pronounced shift from actual energy to “green energy” – which as we have seen for years is neither green nor energy – is leading to some additional really stupid things.  Like the Cuomo, Inc. shutdown of two Indian Point nuclear power plants – ironically, the only green energy source that actually produces energy: “The two reactors at Indian Point, which are owned by New Orleans-based Entergy Corporation, provide about 25 percent of the electricity needed by New York City.” More