Do Trump’s liberal critics seem increasingly unhinged?

James Bovard:

Trump’s critics are correct that the president has too much arbitrary power. But many people happy to believe the worst about Trump will heave all their skepticism overboard when the next political savior is anointed. Such naivete is being encouraged at the highest levels of Democratic Party. Recall that Hillary Clinton’s recent book declared that the lesson of George Orwell’s 1984 is that people should trust their leaders and the media.

Hysteria remains the 2017 political badge of honor. Last Wednesday, thousands of people gathered across the nation to shout at the sky to protest the anniversary of Trump’s victory. But righteous rage is no substitute for focusing on the real perils that Trump and any other president poses to our rights. The Friends of Freedom need to keep their intellectual ammo dry.

Read the whole thing.

 

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Congressional Republicans (and Democrats) Blind on Tax Reform

First, eliminating the state and local tax (SALT) deduction makes sense because it encourages those governing entities to raise spending, knowing residents can deducts it at the federal level. So, curtailing amounts to a tax increase. The deal is to reduce the amount of SALT deductibility and also lower the income tax brackets for all income brackets including the highest one.

Second, politicians in both parties take the side of the employer/producer in this debate. The federal tax code includes a deduction for “educators”, meaning teachers. They are not the consumer or employee or individual.

Third, there is no assurance that a small business owner or anyone else who gets a tax reduction will hire employees. They may simply give themselves a pay raise.

A broad tax credit for citizens themselves so they can re-train, educate, or otherwise learn new skills are what is needed. Examples are someone who wants to learn how to braid hair, be an electrician, software programmer, or building engineer, learn the nuts-and-bolts of starting a business. There are hundreds of job classifications someone can sift through to find the niche that fits him or her.

Here.

Washington Examiner Blind to US Trade Distortions

The Washington Examiner, a conservative newspaper, agrees with President Trump on China’s “. . . destructive practices of forcing businesses to surrender their technology to the state and forcing them into joint ventures in exchange for market access.” and “. . . massive subsidizing of industries through colossal state-owned enterprises that put private competitors out of business.”

Then the WE proceeds to NAFTA and “Canada’s dairy cartel, but they operate on a similar protectionist principle. . . . Canada’s quasi-Soviet dairy policy is just one of the many thorny issues making agreement more complicated.”

How about the U.S.’s distorting trade policies? Agriculture receives billions in subsidies and regulatory protection. The same arguments WE makes about China and Canada can be made about the U.S.

Amazon.com is not a Monopoly

A monopoly raises prices and provides mediocre service in a market with no competition. Amazon is fighting for sales, profits, and market share. It is competing against Walmart, Alibaba, and hundreds of e-commerce sites that specialize/focus on particular market segments, such as CB radios for off-road vehicles operates by small business owners.

Business Wire:

Amazon is offering a sneak peek of its plans for Black Friday and, with deals across 30 categories, there is something for everyone this holiday. Now through Black Friday, customers will find deals on items including toys, electronics, fashion, beauty, kitchen, sporting goods, and more, in addition to Amazon Devices and products from small businesses and entrepreneurs, at amazon.com/blackfriday. Customers can expect to find incredible deals across a wide selection of top holiday products throughout the duration of the “Turkey 5” – those five popular shopping days starting at midnight PT on Thanksgiving and continuing through Cyber Monday. Black Friday will feature more than 30 Deals of the Day and thousands of Lightning Deals. Customers will find new deals every day, all season long.

Discover all of the great Amazon Black Friday deals at amazon.com/blackfriday or shop anytime, anywhere with the Amazon App (to download, visit amazon.com/mobileapps from your mobile browser). Customers shopping with the Amazon App can also set Watch a Deal alerts to ensure they never miss out on a hot holiday product, and even use AR view, a new augmented reality feature, to view thousands of items in their space before they buy. Voice Shoppers can shop select Black Friday deals, starting as early as 5pm PT, Wednesday, Nov. 22 – just ask Alexa.

Marijuana Legalization Update

Bloomberg:

By the end of 2018, 20 percent of Americans will live in a state where adults can legally buy and sell cannabis. Yet big problems remain unresolved, including a persistent black market that legalization was supposed to help undermine. There are also fights between states in favor of legalizing weed and localities that oppose it. And of course marijuana remains illegal under federal law, casting a shadow over the industry.

Come on, government people. There are businesses to create, people to hire, less crime.

Here.

President Trump Nails Middle Class with Ethanol Costs

How do higher ethanol costs hit the middle class, the people President Trump supposedly seeks to protect from The Swamp?

The Trump administration acquiesced to the ethanol lobby in a recent decision on the costly Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), says the Wall Street Journal. Under a Bush-era 2007 law, the mandated amount of biofuels in your gas tank is increasing, which puts upward pressure on gas and food prices and likely harms the environment.

Yes! Quadfecta! Higher prices for gasoline and food, likely harms the environment, and provides only two-thirds the energy content of regular gas.

Kicker! The hidden games of the bureaucracy: ‘The RFS [Renewable Fuel Standard] is also a bureaucratic nightmare, and has spawned a complex credit-trading system, which investor Carl Icahn said is a “$15 billion market full of manipulation, speculation and fraud.”’

Here.

 

Tech Pours Millions Into Lobbying While Pressure Mounts in Washington

Technology companies including Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. spent more than $10 million on federal lobbying in the third quarter, as Washington ratcheted up pressure on issues ranging from child sex-trafficking to Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

Here.

There may not be many regulations on the “internet” per say, but “pressure on issues ranging from child sex-trafficking to Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election” is equivalent to regulation because it is political control. It is de facto regulation.

And that means less money and people are used to improve our lives with better products and services.