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04/10/17 07:52 AM
04/11/17 06:28 AM
04/12/17 11:38 AM
04/24/17 07:20 AM
to many reports, Donald Trump is getting frantic as his administration
nears the 100-day mark. It’s an arbitrary line in the sand, but one he
himself touted in many pre-inauguration boasts. And it will be an
occasion for numerous articles detailing how little of substance he has
actually accomplished. Yet
many of these reports will, I suspect, miss half the story. It’s
important to note just how little the tweeter-in-chief has managed to
achieve; but we also need to focus on what, exactly, it is that he
Mr. Trump sold himself to voters as unorthodox as well as effective. He
was going to be a different kind of president, a consummate deal-maker
who would transcend the usual ideological divide. His supporters should
therefore be dismayed, not just by his failure to actually close any
deals, but by the fact that he evidently has no new ideas to offer, just
the same old snake oil the right has been peddling for decades.
We saw that on Trumpcare - where the administration outsourced its policy to Paul Ryan, who
produced exactly the kind of plan you might have expected: take
insurance away from millions, make it worse for the rest, and use the
money to cut taxes on the wealthy. Populism!
And now we’re seeing it on taxes. Mr. Trump has promised to unveil a "massive" tax cut plan next week. This announcement apparently came as a surprise
to his own Treasury officials, who obviously don’t have a plan ready.
Still, one thing is clear: Whatever the details, Trumptax will be a big
exercise in fantasy economics.
in 1980 George H. W. Bush famously described supply-side economics —
the claim that cutting taxes on rich people will conjure up an economic
miracle, so much so that revenues will actually rise — as "voodoo economic policy". Yet it soon became the official doctrine of the Republican Party, and
still is. That shows an impressive level of commitment. But what makes
this commitment even more impressive is that it’s a doctrine that has
been tested again and again — and has failed every time.
the U.S. economy rebounded quickly from the slump of 1979-82. But was
that the result of the Reagan tax cuts, or was it, as most economists
think, the result ofof interest cuts by the Federal Reserve? Bill Clinton provided a clear test, by raising taxes on the rich. Republicans predicted disaster, but instead the economy boomed, creating more jobs than under Reagan. Then
George W. Bush cut taxes again, with the usual suspects predicting a
“Bush boom”; what we actually got was lackluster growth followed by a
severe financial crisis. Barack Obama reversed many of the Bush tax cuts
and added new taxes to pay for Obamacare — and oversaw a far better
jobs record, at least in the private sector, than his predecessor.
So history offers not a shred of support for faith in the pro-growth effects of tax cuts.
and let’s not forget recent experiences at the state level. Sam
Brownback, governor of Kansas, slashed taxes. But the growth he promised never came,
while a fiscal crisis did. At the same time, Jerry Brown’s California
raised taxes, leading to proclamations from the right that the state was
committing "economic suicide"; in fact, the state has experienced impressive employment and economic growth.
other words, supply-side economics is a classic example of a zombie
doctrine: a view that should have been killed by the evidence long ago,
but just keeps shambling along, eating politicians’ brains. Why, then,
does it persist? Because it offers a rationale for lower taxes on the
wealthy — and as Upton Sinclair noted long ago, it’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
Still, Donald Trump was supposed to be different. Guess what: he isn’t.
YOU'VE ALL BEEN TRUMPED. WE HAVE ALL LOST. SHOULD WE ALL JUST "GET OVER IT"?!
04/25/17 03:11 PM
04/25/17 03:58 PM
battlingignorance wrote:Thought for today:
Imagine that Hillary Clinton is president. It's learned that she has deep ties to Putin. She puts utterly unqualifed billionaires in cabinet posts. She puts her daughter Chelsea in a position of influence in the West Wing. And Chelsea's husband is her chief advisor. She refuses to release any tax returns, she blocks access to the visitor logs in the White House and Bill refuses to live in the White House, so our tax dollars are spent keeping him safe in Chappaqua. And Hillary spends almost every weekend lounging in a resort (and costing local businesses tens of thousands in lost revenue). AND, in an interview, she names the wrong country she bombed while bragging about the chocolate cake she was eating while she did said bombing.
I could go on and on.
The point is that the outrage, the outcries, the screaming and pearl-clutching by Republican politicians across the board (and all the usual CAO suspects, of course) would be heard around the world; and impeachment proceedings would already be underway!
We all lost. Not getting over it.
04/25/17 04:32 PM
04/25/17 06:45 PM
TAKES ACTIONS TO GET WASHINGTON OUT OF THE WAY,” blared the subject
line of one email blast touting a rollback federal regulations.But
an analysis of Trump’s executive actions as he nears the 100th day of
his presidency on Saturday – which thus far includes 25 executive
orders, 24 memorandums and 20 proclamations – show that Trump’s actions
are more cosmetic than they are substantive. Many of the actions
establish big goals, but few provide legislative prescriptions. They
order agency reviews and studies, ask for recommendations or tinker at
the margins of existing law.
White House aides said that Trump will have signed 32 executive
orders by Friday, the most of any president in their first 100 days
since World War II. That’s a far cry from Trump’s heated campaign
rhetoric, in which he railed against his predecessor’s use of executive
action late in his tenure as President Barack Obama sought to maneuver
around a Republican Congress. Trump argued that he, the consummate deal
maker, wouldn’t need to rely on the tool.“The country wasn’t
based on executive orders,” said Trump at a town hall in South Carolina
in February 2016. “Right now, Obama goes around signing executive
orders. He can’t even get along with the Democrats, and he goes around
signing all these executive orders. It’s a basic disaster. You can’t do
04/26/17 08:28 AM
04/26/17 08:57 AM
04/26/17 03:57 PM
William Taylor wrote:My write-in candidate unfortunately lost. I guess that was because he was not running. But not in a million years would I have ever voted for any Clinton although I liked Bill and thought Hilary would probably be a good president.
The whole Clinton Foundation mess and their seemingly constant way of enriching themselves by peddling influence, etc., was not for me.
Now we are in a real muddle but I do think we have some bright people on both sides of the aisle and I am optimistic that our system of checks and balances will help solve our many problems.
04/26/17 04:46 PM
04/27/17 10:18 AM
04/27/17 10:53 AM
04/28/17 06:41 AM
04/28/17 07:07 AM
04/28/17 07:18 AM
04/28/17 08:19 AM
04/28/17 09:29 AM
04/28/17 12:56 PM
Fortune Cookie wrote:Don't forget Lord Feltersnatch's assault on the judiciary. More winning gong on there:The Trump administration’s losing streak in courts around the nation has in large part been a product of precedents established by conservative judges in the Obama era. It turns out that legal principles meant to curb executive overreach are indifferent to the president’s party.
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