Republican heavies are conducting a purge of RINO’s — Republican In Name Only. Well, that’ll make the caucus purer for sure, but also maybe smaller. They have a 2-seat margin right now. What they need is to expand the map and pick up more seats that support such issues as healthcare reform, and cutting taxes and spending curbs.

There are twenty-three Democratic Senators up for re-election in 2018 and only ten GOP Senators. Several of those Democrats occupy seats in states won by President Trump. Also, historically, the President’s party loses seats in mid-term elections. And, Republicans have only a two seat majority. So what do you do with that information?Consider helping elect more GOP Senators to the Senate instead of trying to purify the existing caucus. Try offense instead of the circular shooting squad.

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Reading through their agenda, I conclude its the same old crap. More government control, rules, and bureaucracy. And, the results will be the very results they say they are trying to fix. For example, their first issue complains about special interests and so-called the rich getting the benefits of government largess. But, any legislation or regulatory change involves the input of special interests. In fact, Democrats welcome special interests to provide expertise in writing legislation. They are the experts and that’s why they’re involved. The Democrats invite the special interests that fit their agenda to help who then tilt the legislation to their benefit. The result is more bureaucracy and more complexity in the lives of the middle class they say they are trying to help. How much record-keeping do we already have for taxes, medical care, and on and on? Well, that is the result of the very government Democrats are pushing.

How about this:

Our plan for A Better Deal starts by creating millions of good-paying, full-time jobs by directly investing in our crumbling infrastructure and prioritizing small business and entrepreneurs, instead of giving tax breaks to special interests.

How are they going to “creating millions of good-paying, full-time jobs” Well, that crumbling infrastructure is located in states that have been run by Democrats, with an occasional Republican elected such as NY, NJ, CA, IL. The fiscal problem at the state level is that government employee pensions, public education, and Medicaid have consumed their budgets, leaving little budget dollars left for infrastructure. Having the federal government spend on infrastructure relieves the state governors, legislators, and judges of being responsible for the infrastructure in their states. No real reform here.

Next, “prioritizing small business and entrepreneurs, instead of giving tax breaks to special interests.” is funny because “small business” and “entrepreneurs”, from a political perspective, are special interests. “prioritizing” means giving special treatment to special interests. Democrats just hide it from the public by burdening firms with the rules then we get ticked off at the firms for acting the way they do.

Here’s another: “We will crack down on monopolies and the concentration of economic power that has led to higher prices for consumers, workers, and small business”. The monopolies in the economy are the federal, state, and local governments. Further, firms cannot raise their prices. The prices of products and services that are rising faster then general inflation are those with heavy government involvement such as college tuition and public education.

Another problem with their approach is that all this activity interferes with the peaceful, voluntary actions of the American people interacting with each other and others across borders. That interference tilts the playing field because that is how the Democrats view everything. In Progressivism, someone must lose for someone else to win.

Next, their plan “provides new tax incentives to employers that invest in workforce training and education and make sure the rules of the economy support companies that focus on long-term growth, rather than short-term profits.” That means more paperwork, meetings, and time taken away from concentrating resources on doing the work for the customers of the firm. As well, firms have strategies for the short, medium, and long terms. They may not be completely filled out, but that is not possible because the future is unknown. The details get filled in as more information is available and more knowledge acquired. That’s why 10 or 20 years plans are nonsense.

The funny thing is, if a firm invests for the long-term, the results might pay off in government antitrust action against it, see Amazon.com. They invested for the long-term by keeping the retail prices low to build market share. But, Democrats want congressional hearings on its proposed acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. So the people at Amazon.com invested for the long-term and they get rewarded with congressional hearings. That makes no sense unless of course the hearings are for show and graft. Ahhh, graft. Squeeze a firm so its employees make financial contributions to the party.

And let’s not forget the mess the Democrats created in the health insurance market with Obamacare — monthly premiums higher, deductibles, higher, insurers leaving markets. So all in all, the Democrats are pulling the same stunts they always do.

A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner:

Here we go again. The United States is on the verge of carrying out military operations in yet another country as part of the war on terrorism. The Philippines — specifically the southern island of Mindanao — may soon become the latest target of the world’s busiest and most powerful military. The goal will apparently be to strike Islamic State elements that “could be a threat to allies in the region.”

 

Why is this a problem?

The strikes would further erode America’s moral credibility by putting American firepower in service to a thuggish regime. Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ president, has boasted about personally carrying out extrajudicial killings during his time as a mayor. The killings have grown with his political power. Amnesty International reports that Duterte has approved thousands of extrajudicial killings since he assumed the presidency.

NPR:

President Trump says he is ready to declare the nation’s opioid crisis “a national emergency,” saying it is a “serious problem the likes of which we have never had.”

President Trump is showing he is a progressive and getting sucked into the swamp. Progressives left and right declare “War on something” where that something is whatever fits. Trump’s declaration is a variation on the War on Drugs. His adminsitration was clever enough to avoid the same “War on” label but its the same thing.

The War on Drugs initially by President Richard Nixon and US Congress and continued: Fail. The legalization to varying degrees by states of marijuana and the ease of availability suggests this failed also.

The U.S. also had the War on Poverty by President Lyndon B bing-bing-bing, Johnson and US Congress: Fail.

In the decade following the 1964 introduction of the war on poverty, poverty rates in the U.S. dropped to their lowest level since comprehensive records began in 1958: from 17.3% in the year the Economic Opportunity Act was implemented to 11.1% in 1973. They have remained between 11 and 15.2% ever since. It is important to note, however, that the steep decline in poverty rates began in 1959, 5 years before the introduction of the war on poverty (see figure 4 below).

Expect more aggressive policing, arrests, headlines, wasted tax money, civil liberties violations, larger bureaucracies in government and elsewhere, and failure.

Here:

The Google engineer who wrote a highly controversial internal memo about gender differences that’s sparked an uproar in the tech industry says he’s been fired — and that he’s not going to take it lying down.

James Damore’s memo, which claims biological factors contribute to gender inequality in the tech sector, sparked a quick rebuttal from Google after it circulated widely online.

The federal government forces firms who do business with it to obtain gender, ethnicity/race (combined), military veteran status, disability. Disability can be an ailment you currently have or had but are fully recovered. And it is not always visible, i.e. does not display physical attributes.

The applicant is given the option of refusing provide the accurate answer and can choose to not provide the information. But does that affect the applicant’s chances of being hired? Who really knows. These questions are ostensibly used to assess a firm’s outreach and recruitment efforts. But so what. Why does that have to be known? It may not be used now, but it might later.

Worse, this screening prevents some people from being hired because they amount to a quota. If the firm has enough of a certain class of individual, it may look for others to fill positions.

The problem with all of this is that it make the labor market less fluid and dynamic. Look at the mess Google is in now and has to expend its resources hiring people to implement these policies and now it has to defend itself in public. How about building great products and services with great people! And deliver high ROI to the owners, i.e. shareholders!

I was recently listening to President Trump’s proposal to change U.S. immigration laws and how they would somehow help the economy.

Well, Sheldon Richman puts into words better than I could what this amounts to:

Immigration brings out the social engineers and central planners across the political establishment. We see this clearly in the debate over Donald Trump’s support for legislation that would cut legal immigration in half while tilting it toward well-educated English-speakers and against low-skilled non-English-speakers. . . .

But what is this thing they call “the economy,” which has needs? Social engineers of all parties and persuasions talk as though an economy is some kind of mechanism to be centrally fine-tuned and overhauled occasionally according to a plan. Even those who style themselves free enterprisers display the central-planning mentality when it comes to immigration.

Contrary to this establishment view, the economy is not a mechanism. It is, rather, hundreds of millions of American producers and consumers, who also happen to be embedded in a global marketplace. Why can’t they be trusted, without the direction of politicians, to decide for themselves what they need and to engage in social cooperation — that is, among other things, to trade goods and services — to obtain it?

 

Phil Gramm and Micheal Solon:

But it wasn’t only the tax cuts, and it wasn’t only Reagan. To his credit, President Carter led the most significant deregulatory effort in the postwar era, reducing the regulatory burden on truckers, railroads, airlines and telecommunications, along with the interest rates paid by financial institutions. Reagan built on this Carter legacy by eliminating price controls on domestic oil and natural gas. These actions enhanced overall economic efficiency and amplified the effects of the 1981 tax cut and the 1986 tax reform.

But then they end with a too-partisan conclusion:

Economic growth faded as President Obama raised taxes and smothered the economy with unprecedented regulatory burdens.

They conveniently ignore President Bush (43) regulatory and spending smothering. It helped to build the deep state and bureaucracy just as the Obama years did, and from which we are struggling to emerge.