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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

NY’s Over-Reaching, Micro-Managing Governor: From ‘Green Energy’ to…Charity Milk

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Cuomo Counts
Only Fifteen Pieces

When politicians are over-reaching, micro-managing busybodies, they are over-reaching, micro-managing busybodies on…everything.

Not a sparrow falls from the sky without a Leftist politician – who had been regulating its flight – imposing the death tax upon its grounded corpse.

When government is so huge – nothing is too small to escape its attention.  It’s as if Sauron has infinite eyes – astigmatism-riddled, cataract-blocked, near-and-far-sighted eyes.  The gaze is completely addled – but government insists nothing evade it.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is such a politician.  A Democrat leading light for Presidential 2020 (which only shows how desperate and bench-less these Donkeys be) – Cuomo has proclaimed his proud uber-Leftist governance of the Empire State.  And it appears he thinks it will lead him from the state house to the White House.

Cuomo, With Unilateral Actions, Advances a Renewed Liberal Agenda in New York: “(A)s Governor Cuomo, a Democrat, nears the end of his fifth year in office, he appears to be embracing what he says is his inner progressive….’I believe when you prove the potential of government and you prove that is a viable option, that you’re going to see a different day in politics and a different day in this nation,’ he said. ‘That’s what New York is trying to do now.…’”

Cuomo seems to think nothing is beyond his Barack-Obama-esque fiat reach.  The above November 2015 article documents Cuomo trying to jack the state’s minimum wage to $15-per-hour, preemptively, prematurely legalizing pot and blocking a proposal to build the state’s first liquified natural gas port. 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

Stupider Than Government Subsidies? Importing Government Subsidies

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

There Are Very Few Things in Life More Annoying Than Someone Who is at Once Condescending and Wrong

Political rookie Donald Trump won the White House in large part by running against just how stupid Washington, D.C. is.  And DC stupidity is certainly a rich vein to mine.

P.T. Barnum once said: “No man ever went broke overestimating the ignorance of the American public.”  Trump bet on a paraphrase: “No one ever went broke overestimating the stupidity of government” – and won huge.

Because no matter how ignorant government schools intentionally render the American public – the American public can never be dumbed down enough to get down to government’s level.  Trump inherently understood this.

DC is $4-trillion-a-year worth of stupid.  And we spend a lot of that money – stupidly subsidizing domestic cronies.  Not picking winners and losers – so much as picking losers at the expense of winners.  Taking, for instance, money from real energy companies like oil and gas – and giving it to fake energy companies like wind and solar.

But what’s worse – and more politically craven – than that?  Importing government subsidies from other countries.  Your government doesn’t spend the money – theirs do.  Thereby you duck the political price for the spending.

And just like with domestic subsidies, you get to disingenuously claim you’re lowering prices.  When what you’re actually doing is using different governments’ money – rather than ours – to in identical fashion warp and damage the marketplace.  First and foremost – your domestic marketplace.  Even worse than with domestic subsidies.

With domestic subsidies, at least the recipients benefit – while everyone else is damaged.  With imported subsidies – every single domestic company is damaged.  The more subsidies you import – the more damage you do to every domestic company. More

The 1994 Republican Revolution’s Lesson for New York Republicans

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Lessons to Be Learned

It must be difficult to be ensconced in an entrenched minority.  Day after day, year after year – toiling away, knowing you may never see the majority light of day.  It would be understandable if certain psychological results result.

Stockholm Syndrome is a possibility: “(A) condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.”  Defeatism can very easily set in.  You embrace being the minority, and find ways to enjoy it – even revel in it.

The quintessential political example of all of this and more – is recently deceased former longtime U.S. Congressional Minority Leader Bob Michel.  Michel in 1981 took the helm of a House Republican caucus – that had been in the minority since 1952.

Michel from all appearances was quite comfortable being down and looking up.  He never rocked the boat, or the Democrat majority – and remained as Minority Leader for fourteen more minority years.  And Democrats and the Left loved him for it.

Then arose Newt Gingrich and his conservative insurgents.  Tired of being in and accepting the minority, Gingrich and his gaggle led a 1994 revolution against Republican Michel-esque apathy.  And parlayed Democrat comfort and corruption – remember the House banking scandal? – into the Congress-rattling Republican Revolution.  Delivering the Republicans to the Majority promised land for the first time in forty-two years. More

Sometimes, When Everyone Is Lining Up Against It – You Should Stop Doing It

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Both Sides Against
the Mushy Middle

There is an argument oft posited in politics that if the Left and Right are both opposed to what you’re doing – you must be doing something right.  That you have found the sweet spot of policy excellence – betwixt and between the ideological bounds that surround you.

And occasionally, that is the case.  But not usually.  Usually, if you’ve displeased everyone engaged enough to actually take a strong stand on things, what you’ve made is mush – that only the mushy middle can stomach.

We’re currently witnessing the making of mush in Washington, D.C. – the three un-passable phases of the Obamacare replacement.  This is some serious mush-making – because Obamacare itself is just that awful, and We the People have been electing people to get rid of it for now almost a decade.  So to leave this many people un-sated – means you ain’t hitting the mark.

Granted, no one on the Left is going to do anything to undo the awfulness – but they’re in the minority (in large part for standing steadfastly by this awfulness).  But the replacement’s pronounced mushiness has also lost it large swaths of the Right.

Best move at this point?  Pull the plug – and head back to the drawing board. 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

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