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We Need to Finally Delineate Between Fake ‘Free’ Trade – and Really Stupid Trade

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Stupid Trade in Our Time – And All the Time

Donald Trump remains largely misunderstood – and dare I say it, underestimated – in many areas that matter on the national and world stages.

For someone allegedly having no real plan and being so allegedly incompetent – he is certainly, rapidly accomplishing a great deal of exactly the plan on which he ran for president.

Trump ran on deregulation.  He has as President signed thirteen Congressional Review Act Resolutions of Disapproval (thank you also to Congress for passing them) – undoing a whole host of major Barack Obama Administration regulatory power grabs.  He has set his appointees to work to swiftly roll back the massive red tape emanating from their respective agencies.  Many are already well under way towards so doing.

Trump ran on actually enforcing – and thus closing – the gaping maw that has for decades been our southern border.  While Congressional Democrats threaten to shut down the government in opposition to Trump’s border wall – Trump has efficiently gone about enforcing existing law with existing resources.  And has already greatly reduced illegal border crossings.

Then there is Trump on trade.  Far too many people dismissed Trump as anti-free trade.  Those people are really quite wrong.  What these people have for half a century been touting as “free trade” isn’t free trade – it is one-sided, anti-U.S. stupid trade: More

Will the Weak, Wobbly GOP Ever Show Any Spine – Anywhere? On Anything?

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Republicans Everywhere
Needs a Massive Protein Infusion

The late, inordinately great Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of Great Britain (the last time Britain was Great) – and a towering historical figure.  She possessed the spinal strength of ten Mr. Olympias.  When once conversing with…lesser fortitude-possessing United States Republican President George H.W. Bush, Thatcher famously uttered “Remember George, this is no time to go wobbly.”

The Republican Party has a long and storied history – of being weak and wobbly.  Thatcher favorite Ronald Reagan was the exception – a cavalcade of others the rule.

In fact, used often is the term RINO – Republican In Name Only.  To describe non-conservative, weak-and-wobbly Republicans.  I would argue the opposite is true.  Ronald Reagan was the RINO – the steel-spined uber-minority in the vast-majority-feeble GOP.

We’ve just emerged from eight years of the utterly corrupt, constantly lying, law-violating and national security breaching Democrat Barack Obama Administration.  About all of which Republicans did…almost exactly nothing.  Lots of hearings and press releases – nothing of substance.

Republicans were led out of the Obama wilderness – by now-President Donald Trump.  Against whom they fought – ten times as hard as they ever did against Obama.  And now that Trump is in office – and doing lots of really great less government things – the GOP is doing next to nothing to back him. More

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

As Always Everywhere, ‘Green Energy’ Is Killing New York’s Economy

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Cuomo’s Crony Wrinkle
Added to the ‘Green Energy’ Scam

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to loathe actual energy.  You know, oil, gas, coal, etc.  The sources of energy that actually produce energy – cheaply and efficiently.

And instead has an incredible affinity for fake energy.  You know – wind, solar, ethanol, etc.  The alleged “green energy” – which is neither green nor energy.  Alleged energy sources that are in many instances actually worse for the environment than real energy sources.  That can’t even exist without massive government cash infusions.  And that produce what little energy they do – in a woefully inefficient manner.

But when you fetishize a belief in the Greatest Scam on Earth – that would be global warming…ooops, I mean climate change – the real-fuel-loathing and the “green energy”-fake-fuel-black-hole almost always follow.

New York Governor Cuomo is rigidly holding to this foolish form.

You Won’t Believe How Badly Cuomo’s Anti-Pipeline Stance Is Crushing New York’s Economy: “The US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy dug deeper into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-pipeline stance. They wanted to know exactly what the repercussions were for average New Yorkers, so that the governor can make a more educated decision the next time a gas pipeline proposal comes across his desk.  Gov. Cuomo has blocked two pipelines — last year, he blocked the Constitution pipeline and this month he blocked the Northern Access.” 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

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