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Saturday Scattershooting While Waiving Bye-Bye To Tom Price

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • Well, she was talking about those ‘other’ women – Michelle Obama said that “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.”  No word from the former First Lady on what she was doing during the 2008 Democrat nominating contest when she actively campaigned for a mean ol’ man against Mrs. Clinton and presumably voted for her husband rather than her “own voice” in the Illinois primary that year.
  • Tired of winning yet?  Part 1 – all the stock indexes closed at all-time record highs yet again on Friday, as the U.S. economy continues to hum along in response to the Trump Administration’s ongoing program to remove the shackles of unnecessary soviet-style regulations that were piled onto it during the Obama years.  This has happened so often during the last 8 months that it has become passe’ to even mention it.  But there, I mentioned it.
  • Tired of winning yet?  Part II – U.S. GDP for the 2nd quarter of 2017 was raised to a final estimate of 3.1% on Friday, the highest quarterly rate of economic growth in many years.  If you want to know why, see the bit about removal of soviet-style regulations above.  This is not exactly rocket science.
  • Because that’s what happens when a Republican charges taxpayers $1 million in air travel in just 8 months – To literally nobody’s surprise, President Trump fired HHS Secretary Tom Price Friday afternoon, after it had been revealed that he felt his entire job was to fly in high style all over the damn world every week at exorbitant taxpayer expense.  He apparently didn’t break any laws, and he didn’t do anything myriad Obama officials had not done the past 8 years, but unlike Democrat presidencies, Republican administrations must hold their people accountable for this kind of behavior.  Mr. Price apparently didn’t understand that, which means he was too dumb to hold a secretarial position in the first place.
  • I wrote on Thursday about my belief that the just-begun effort by the GOP establishment leadership in congress to move a tax reform bill is just a Kabuki dance, and that the outcome is already fore-ordained to be a McConnell/Ryan joint presser in December in which they tell us all they did their best but they just ran out of time.  If you don’t believe that, read the piece linked here in The Hill, in which various House Republicans are already speculating how the bill will ultimately be killed in the Senate, maybe by the same group of RINOs who killed the Obamacare bill.
  • Hell, you’ve even got the Chairman of Senate Finance, Utah Senator Orin Hatch – who is likely to retire next year, and thus never have to face the voters again – talking about ways to kill the effort in public.  The probable truth is that Mitch McConnell already has 8 or 9 members of his GOP caucus who can be counted on to vote against any version of a tax reform bill if he needs them.
  • They’ll couch their votes with objections like Hatch’s, i.e., “I feel very strongly we need to preserve that wonderful deduction for state and local taxes, oh my”.  Maybe Susan Collins’ objection will be her strong feeling that we need to give a special tax credit to any woman who seeks an abortion at Planned Parenthood clinics;  Lamar Alexander might want to preserve some special tax break for his state’s whiskey distillers; Lisa Murkowski might feel strongly about the need to preserve some tax program that benefits polar bears; John McCain might think he’s voting on the EPA appropriations bill rather than a tax bill;  regardless, the three GOP ‘no’ votes needed to kill this thing are already out there in some combination of senators or another.
  • I hate to be the bearer of this bad news because we really do need to reform our absurd tax system, but watching this all play out is like going to a movie whose previews have already revealed the final scene.  You already know how it’s going to end, but you go anyway just to see the details of how it all plays out.

Just another day in GOP congressional Kabuki dance America.

That is all.

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The GOPe’s Next Act: Pretending To Want Tax Reform

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • Well, you know it’s a slow news day in Donald Trump’s America when the biggest story is the introduction by Republicans congress of their long-awaited tax reform bill.  The bill has been ready for at least six months, but true to their goal of not getting a damn thing done during this calendar year, the GOP congressional leadership waited until the end of September to introduce it.
  • This late introduction date – for which there really is no justification at all – naturally produced grumbling among some members of the conservative Freedom Caucus about the “aggressive time frame” left in the year to get such a massive reform of the IRS tax code done.  So, the stage is already set for the December press conference of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell telling everyone that they just ran out of time this year, but don’t worry, they’ll promise to come back in 2018 and really, truly get the thing done.  Yeah, sure, just like Obamacare, right?
  • Through a contraction of the various tax rates and a doubling of the standard deduction, everyone gets a bit of a tax break in this plan, except for those making more than $400,000 per year, who get stuck with an actual tax surcharge.  Naturally, Democrats rushed to the microphones and Twitter and Facebook to squeal that the plan is…wait for it…wait for it…A TAX CUT FOR THE WEALTHY!  I swear I don’t make this stuff up.
  • Of course, in Democrat “logic”, such as it exists, this is true, since the Democrats consider anyone who makes more than about $100,000 per year to be “wealthy”.  Given that the goal of the plan is to get more money into the hands of those in the lower and middle class, people making between $100,000 and $400,00 do get a tax cut under the plan.  Thus, the whole “tax cut for the wealthy” rhetoric from the party of demagoguery.
  • The plan would also lower the tax rate for – gasp! – evil corporations in the hope of stimulating the economy.   Man, the Democrats haven’t even gotten started demonizing that aspect of the proposal.  Nevermind that the U.S. has by far the highest corporate tax rate of any developed country, costing our country millions of potential jobs that now simply go overseas, lowering tax rates for evil corporations presents Fauxcahontas and Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders with prime demagoguery opportunities, and that is not something they will meekly pass up.
  • So, it’s going to be a long fall and winter filled with hyper-partisan rancor.  There is nothing progressives hate more than a healthy, growing economy.  I’m not kidding.  If you think otherwise, you don’t understand progressives.
  • There can be no doubt the GOP proposal would indeed stimulate economic growth in a very big way.  The key stimulus-producing provision is one that would allow businesses of all kinds to deduct most capital costs during the tax year in which they are incurred.  Currently, such costs must be recovered by depreciating them over 5 to 30 years, depending on the asset that is being depreciated.
  • President Trump has often talked about wanting to pass his own economic stimulus package. Well, there is really no need for a separate stimulus bill if congress were to pass this one.  The ability to deduct capital costs would be a stimulus plan in and of itself, and unlike the Obama stimulus, which was basically wasted on expanding government employment and wasteful programs, it would stimulate real infrastructure expansion, and create millions of real, private sector jobs.
  • So of course the Democrats hate it.  They hate anything that would grow the private sector, especially at a time when the government sector is being systematically reduced by a Republican administration.
  • But the dirty little secret is that the establishment Republicans really don’t want to pass this bill, either, which is why they’ve waited so late to introduce it.  The positive side is that the President does want it, and he won’t be shy about publicly pounding on Democrats and Republicans who work to kill it.
  • Just as we have seen President Trump reveal the Democrats and their progressive voters to be perfectly fine with NFL players disrespecting the national anthem and American flag this week, in the coming weeks we will see him speak very frankly about the real reasons why the Democrats and recalcitrant Republican swamp creatures don’t want to pass a meaningful tax bill.
  • It will be a target-rich environment for verbal kill shots, and we all know how the President loves that.

Just another day in Donald Trump’s America.

That is all.

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Predicting Trump’s Success Is Really Not Rocket Science

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

“How come you’re always right about Trump?” a friend asked me after he’d seen today’s news that the President had pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord wealth redistribution scheme.  He was referring to my recent Forbes.com piece titled “For President Trump, Pulling Out Of Paris Is The Only Logical Move.”, which I wrote a week ago.

Well, first of all, I’m not always “right about Trump”. I’ve been wrong about plenty of Trump-related things since he announced his candidacy two years ago, and will continue being wrong about some things in the future.

Conceding that, I have had a pretty strong track record of being right about Trump-related predictions, certainly far better than the record possessed by those inside-the-Beltway “experts” who form what is held to be the “conventional wisdom” in the nation’s capital.  I told readers as early as October of 2015 that Trump was at that point pretty much a shoe-in to become the GOP nominee, due to historic trends in the GOP nominating process.  That was at a time when the George Wills, David Axelrods and every other DC pundit was writing him off because Ben Carson had assumed a temporary polling lead in the race.  I went into great detail as early as March 2016 about why Trump would beat Hillary Clinton in the general election, and held firm on that prediction through election day.

Since the election, I’ve also had a strong and very public record of predicting the things Mr. Trump would do and why he would succeed in doing them.  I still unashamedly predict he will serve a full first term and probably be elected to serve a full second term despite all the media-generated fake news hysteria surrounding his presidency thus far.  In fact, later in this piece, I’m going to tell you why that hysteria is most likely going to actually help him accomplish his major legislative policy goals.

But first:  why have I been mostly right about Mr. Trump where other, famous pundits have been almost unerringly wrong?  I’m afraid there’s no magic to it, no great genius on my part that accounts for it, and that the answer is really pretty simple:  I evaluate President Trump from the standpoint that he is an actual, fairly normal person, and I am old enough to be able to view first his candidacy and now his presidency through a lens of historical context.

In other words, it’s not exactly rocket science.  In fact, it’s very simple.

Dehumanizing a Person Clouds Judgment

Think about it:  the establishment, inside-the-beltway political class punditry have alternatively viewed Mr. Trump as either a) a clown (George Will, Charles Krauthammer, all the useful idiots in the NeverTrump crowd) or b) a monster (any liberal/progressive pundit/anchor/fake journalist you care to name).  To a person, regardless of their ideology, they view the current President as a freak, a complete outlier in the American political system, an illegitimate holder of the office whose every move is either stupid or outright evil.

They all immediately dehumanized Trump on the day he announced his candidacy, and by doing that, even the oldsters among them, like Will and Krauthammer, lost all ability to analyze his actions through the historical lens that they ordinarily bring to their public pronouncements.  Put simply, it is impossible to correctly predict the actions and potential of a man if you start by rejecting his humanity at the outset.

Now, the President does have a very mercurial personality, which makes it pretty much impossible to predict, for example, what he might decide to say on Twitter at 3:00 on any given morning, as with the whole “covfefe” thing.  On the other hand, when it comes to public policy, it’s actually very easy:  If Mr. Trump has made it a point to say he is going to do something, then he is almost certainly going to make a strong effort to get it done.  And if he makes a strong effort, his history shows he is very likely to win.  If one has the ability to analyze the political situation through an historical context, and has an understanding of how the political process works in Washington, it becomes fairly easy to predict whether or not he’s going to be successful.

Paris as an Example

The Paris Climate Accords is a good example of his doing what he has consistently said he is going to do.  If you read my Forbes piece, you know that my reasoning for believing he would pull the U.S. out of the Accords is due to the facts that a) he repeatedly promised to do so throughout his election campaign, and b) that he’s already gone about rescinding or rewriting pretty much every executive or regulatory action taken during the Obama years in their efforts to comply with the commitments Mr. Obama made on behalf of the country.   Thus, if President Trump had decided to remain in the Accord, the question would have become how in the world would he plan to bring the country into compliance with its demands?

Now, if you view Mr. Trump as an inhuman clown or monster who does things for no logical reason, then you can’t engage in the logical analysis necessary to reach that conclusion.  But if you view him as a human being – a pretty intelligent and wildly successful one, at that – then you already know that, where policy is concerned, he has shown a consistent bias towards acting in exactly this logical manner.  But he is human and humans make mistakes and often act illogically.  Paris could have turned out to be one such instance where Trump is concerned, but the smart money was always on his deciding to leave an agreement related to which he has already largely dismantled the country’s ability to comply.

Repeal and Replacement of ObamaCare

Repeal and replacement of Obamacare is another great example.  The “smart people” in DC largely expressed surprise that, upon assuming office, President Trump didn’t forget his promise to make it his top legislative priority and instead focus on easier things. Why?  Because they all believe he is an irrational clown or monster who doesn’t mean what he says.  But anyone who took the time to read Trump’s book and study his history had to conclude that he has throughout his life been someone who does basically what he has said he was going to do.  Yes, he’s open to negotiation over the details, but he has always worked to reach the overarching goals he has set.

Trump repeatedly promised during the campaign that repealing and replacing Obamacare would be his #1 legislative priority, and he has followed through on making it his #1 legislative priority.  Not tax reform, not anything else – Obamacare.  This should come as a surprise to…well, to no one.

When the first vote in the House failed, no one among the “smart people” in DC predicted that another, successful vote would take place less than a month later.  But it did. Why?  Because, right after the failed first vote, Trump issued a verbal “kill shot” at the members of the House Freedom Caucus, blaming them for the vote’s failure.  Not wanting to take that blame, it was the Freedom Caucus members who worked hardest to make sure a deal ultimately got made.

Again, that was all very predictable to anyone who had taken the time to actually observe how Trump influences people.

Now, we have Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already complaining that he can’t see how he could ever possibly cobble together 50 votes to get Obamacare repealed and replaced, or on comprehensive tax reform, even though he and every other senate Republican who was up for re-election last year campaigned strongly on both promises.

Trump has been distracted recently by his international trip – a predictably very successful trip, by the way, despite conventional wisdom in DC that it would be a huge failure – and is now focused on getting his White House staff in order.  But it is a safe bet that, within the next couple of weeks, the President is going to begin to direct his kill shots and other means of persuasion on the Majority Leader, and that the Majority Leader’s rhetoric on those two big priorities will begin to “evolve.” In fact, he already began aiming tweets in McConnell’s direction on Tuesday.

The conventional wisdom in DC right now says that the President cannot hope to convince congress to act on major legislative priorities because of all of the leaks, impeachment talk and myriad other fake news that permeates the air waves.  This is utter nonsense.

In fact, the President obviously thrives on chaos, and has always viewed it as an opportunity rather than a hindrance.  Where congress is concerned, all of the sound and fury around Trump and the Democrats’ “Russia collusion” fantasy actually provides a great deal of cover for the legislative branch to get a ton of positive things done without attracting the main focus of a hostile press.  Despite all the false negative reporting about the President’s first 100 days in office, the truth is that congress sent more bills to his desk during that time than during the first 100 days of any recent president, more than twice as many as the Democrat-dominated 2009 congress sent to then-President Obama.

Why Scandal Talk Actually Helps

Where all the scandal talk is concerned, anyone with actual historical perspective would know that both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton signed all sorts of major legislation during the periods of time when they were under threat of impeachment.  Those congresses, controlled by opposition parties, actually used those situations as leverage.  The reality today is that Republicans in congress have at least as much invested in both the Obamacare and tax reform issues as the president does.  Really even more so on tax reform, to which Mr. Trump was actually a late-comer.

Right now, pretty much all of the “smart people” in DC are telling you that Mr. Trump and the congressional Republicans will not be able to reach success on either issue.   They tell you this because their own de-humanization of the president clouds their judgment, and because of their lack of historical perspective.

Some Predictions

I’m telling you today, June 1, 2017, that President Donald Trump will, less than a year from today, have signed bills that repeal and replace Obamacare with a better system, and that enact major personal and corporate tax reform.  I’m also going to tell you that he will serve out his first term in office, be easily re-elected, and serve out his second term, unless the ongoing efforts by the Democrats and fake news media to de-humanize him and encourage violence against him and his supporters result in a successful assassination attempt, which is always a possibility.

But hey, who you gonna believe – me, or all those famous “smart people” who pop up on your TV each night?

This really is not rocket science.  Really.

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Today’s Campaign Update (Because The Campaign Never Ends) – 5.19.2017

  • Today’s Required Reading:  George Soros, that evil old leftist radical who funds Black Lives Matter and other U.S. leftist violent protest groups, essentially owns the Democratic Party, and who has played such a large role in the flooding of Europe with Muslim immigrants, is now buying up district attorneys around the country.  Great report on his latest efforts to destroy the free world here.
  • Can we get the WaPo and NYTimes to quit making stuff up about Comey now?:  Guy Benson, one of the handful of real journalists still working in Washington DC today, posted video on Twitter yesterday from James Comey’s May 3 sworn testimony to congress.  In response to a question, Mr. Comey clearly and unequivocally states that no one in the Trump or any other administration, not the President or anyone else, has ever asked him to stop any investigation, ever.  Period.  In response, the WaPo and NYTimes issued several more made-up stories about Comey based on nothing but unidentified, anonymous “sources”.  Because that’s all they know to do anymore.
  • Cats everywhere are cringing in fear…:  The Daily Mail reports that officials in China have banned the selling and consuming of dog meat at the nation’s annual Yulin festival, at which dog meat has traditionally been the dish of choice.  The government is not planning to ban the killing and serving of any other types of animals that people in the Western world tend to name and treat like family members these days.  I swear I don’t make this stuff up.
  • If this surprises you, you just don’t understand the real ability of House Republicans to screw up any one car parade.:  It was revealed yesterday that House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t actually sent the much-vaunted Obamacare repeal and replace bill to the Senate yet.  Why?  Because he’s afraid he may have to put the matter up for another vote, depending on how the score from the Congressional Budget Office turns out.  Next time someone tells you Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing, refer that person to Paul Ryan.
  • Meanwhile, in an obvious effort to change the subject and calm the financial markets, Ryan and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady started talking about their tax reform effort again, holding a meeting with business leaders from around the country.  Can’t wait to see how many times they’re planning to hold votes on that one.
  • They’re just “leaving”.  Get it?:  The fake journalists at The Atlantic filed a report titled “American Trees Are Moving West And No One Knows Why”.  Naturally, the fake reporter quotes fake climate scientists who state with all certainty that climate change – which is responsible for everything from acid indigestion to thinning hair on desert jumping rats – accounts for “no more than 20%” of this mysterious tree migration.  Seriously, you have to read this story to believe it.
  • Tired of winning yet?:  ICE reports that arrests of illegal immigrants at the southern border are up by 40% this year over the same period in 2016.  As reported earlier, the agency also estimates that total illegal border crossings are down by more than 75% in the same year-over-year measure.  If we could count on the next Democrat elected to the presidency to continue to simply enforce U.S. immigration law, no fence would be necessary.  Unfortunately, we all know we can’t count on any such thing.

Just another day in winning despite the fake news media America.

That is all.