President Donald John Trump and the Republicans did it. They passed a major tax reform bill without a single Democratic vote in the House or Senate.
That fact is pretty amazing; not a single Democrat elected to serve in the House or the Senate thinks that the government taking less money from its citizens is a good idea. That’s incredible. I hope the Democrats run in 2018 on a platform to raise taxes.
It makes sense for a majority of Democrats to vote against a Republican initiative, but doesn’t it seem like one of the hundreds of Democrats in the House and Senate would see cutting taxes as a good thing?
The mainstream media have spent much of the fall writing about how the Democrats are going to take back the House in 2018. But people rarely vote against their pocketbooks, and, according to independent analysts, about 80 percent of taxpayers are receiving a tax cut.
In North Carolina the average taxpayer will pay about $600 less in federal taxes in 2018. You can bet that $600 is going straight back into the economy. People are likely to spend a little more money rather than put that $600 into a savings account. It’s not enough to change anyone’s lifestyle, but it is enough to eat a few more meals out, go on a trip or buy someone a nicer Christmas present.
Next November is a long way off, but if the choice is between a candidate who put more money in the voter’s pocket and a candidate who wants to take more out of their pocket, I don’t see the taker beating the giver.
It’s a great win for Trump after the Obamacare repeal was defeated. And this tax reform also ends the individual mandate, which kills Obamacare, although not as directly as Trump wanted it killed. But without the individual mandate there is no Obamacare.
Even some in the mainstream media predict that the tax reform bill will cause the economy – which is already doing better than it ever did with Barack Obama in the White House – to take off. Some economists are predicting 4 percent economic growth next year, which is twice what Obama ever achieved during his eight years in the White House.
When business owners can keep more of the money they make, they make more money. To make more money, they have to increase production, which means hiring more people and spending more money. They can also afford to give more raises.
Some analysts are predicting the economy, which has been doing the best it has in eight years, is going to take off like a rocket. If that is even half true, and it takes off like a jet plane, then the Republicans are going to be really hard to beat. It was the mantra that got Bill Clinton elected president, but it’s no less true today then it was when Bill Clinton ran, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
In this case, even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came through with the votes. Which makes this a great time for McConnell to retire. Go out on a high note with a big victory. It would be a smart move, but McConnell wouldn’t know what to do with himself if he retired, and the Republicans in the Senate, unlike the rest of the country, seem to really like McConnell. It’s hard to understand why.
Trump said he would get the tax reform through before Christmas and he did. He didn’t leave a lot of time to spare, but he did get it through and that’s what counts.
The mainstream media and the Democrats have made a big point about many of the individual tax cuts being temporary and will expire in a couple of years if not renewed. The mainstream media know that the tax cuts are temporary because that way the estimated cost is not as high. It’s not because the Republicans don’t intend to make the cuts permanent, it’s because of the rules of how the deficit is scored.
Of course, the Republicans are assuming that they will be in control when the tax cuts are set to expire, but if the Democrats are in control they may let the tax cuts expire.
If the Democrats do that they had better have a way to blame it on the Republicans because whoever gets the blame for raising taxes is going to have a hard time in the next election.
One thing the Democrats can count on is that the mainstream media will blame it on the Republicans regardless of who is at fault.
It’s pretty amazing when you stop to think about it. The Democrats who oppose the Republican tax reform are claiming that it’s the government’s money the Republicans are taking and giving to the people. It’s the other way around. The money belongs to the people and corporations, and the government takes it away
How can allowing people to keep more of their own hard earned money be a bad thing? What’s wrong with giving wealthy people a big tax break? They pay most of the taxes. Many also make sizable donations to nonprofits, start foundations and support all manner of charitable causes.
If charity is not your thing, the rich are the ones who own all the major professional sports teams with the exception of the Green Bay Packers
When I went to college I won a couple of scholarships, which were funded by wealthy people who wanted to help less fortunate folks attend college. It wasn’t the poor or the middle class who funded the scholarships but rich folks. I’d like for wealthy folks to have more money to give away, and if they don’t want to give it away then it’s their money to spend however they want.
What’s funny is that some of these folks hollering the loudest about the rich are rich themselves. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is rich by the standards of everyone except the super rich.
It is highly doubtful – unless I have some relative I don’t know about or win the lottery, which seems less likely since I don’t play – that the death tax will ever affect me in the least, but I think it needs to be abolished for everyone.
Death should not be a taxable event. With the death tax you have the net worth of someone who has paid taxes on every penny of that money being taxed again because the person was foolish enough to die. Why shouldn’t the heirs be allowed to keep the money? It’s all after-tax money.
There is a different kind of political split in the country that appears to be getting wider and wider. It’s the split between those who believe the mainstream media and those who believe the mainstream media have an extreme liberal bias and get their news from other sources.
For example, the tax reform bill. According to the liberal media the only people getting a real tax cut are the super wealthy. According to Republicans, conservative leaning news organizations and even some so-called nonpartisan organizations, 80 percent of Americans and 90 percent of the middle class will receive a tax cut.
In this case the proof of who is right is not far off. Next year if the average worker sees more money in their paycheck then it turns out the Democrats and mainstream media were wrong. If the average worker is paying the same or more, as some Democrats claim, then the Democrats and mainstream media are right.
If the Republicans in Congress are so dumb that they have passed what they call major tax reform and the average worker isn’t paying less, then they deserve not to be reelected. But I don’t think even the stupid party is that stupid. Why go to all that trouble if it isn’t real tax reform?
The Democrats and liberal media claim that this tax reform is going to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion. If that is true then a lot of people are going to have to pay less in taxes. It doesn’t seem like you can have it both ways. It doesn’t make sense to say this is $1.5 trillion tax cut, but only a few super wealthy are getting a tax cut.
And the Republicans don’t agree with the $1.5 trillion because they say the increased economic activity will erase much of the deficit.
According to fired FBI Director James Comey, back when he was FBI director, the Trump dossier was “salacious and unverified.”
I heard a television commentator say that it had been verified, but what at least publicly has been verified is information that was fairly public to begin with.
The fact that Carter Page went to Russia when the Trump dossier said he did was hardly a secret. Page gave a public speech while he was there. It was reported in the media that he went to Russia.
But simply because he was there doesn’t mean that he went to collude with the Russians. It’s easy to prove he was there, but if they can’t prove that while he was there he had meetings to undermine a free and fair election, what have you got?
The mainstream media seem to have forgotten that it is not illegal for an American to meet with a Russian, even a Russian government official, and it isn’t illegal to go to Russia. Proving someone was in a bank doesn’t prove that they robbed a bank.
Any halfway decent liar mixes in fact with fiction. Christopher Steele, the author of the Trump dossier, is no idiot. There is a lot of fact in the Trump dossier, but the key parts, the parts that are damaging to Trump, have not been verified by anyone so far.
Trump says it isn’t true, and when Comey was director of the FBI he agreed with Trump. It also seems to have been forgotten that the Trump dossier was given to the major liberal news organizations and none of them would print a word of it because they couldn’t verify the contents.
Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller has far more resources than any news organization, and since May he has not been able to verify that the Trump dossier is any more than Comey said it was – salacious and unverified.
Despite the fact that it wasn’t verified or even verifiable, if the FBI used the dossier to get the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants then that is a major breach of trust. The FBI cannot use the opposition research from one presidential candidate as an excuse to spy on the other candidate.
The leaders of the FBI were appointed by Obama, who was supporting Hillary Clinton for president. It makes sense for them to believe that if Hillary Clinton won then their jobs were safe. It also seemed like a really good bet that Hillary Clinton would win. It’s hard to find a political pundit who was predicting a win by Trump, unless you consider Ann Coulter a pundit.
If Hillary Clinton won then the folks in the FBI, from Comey to the clerks, knew that there would never be an investigation of how Hillary Clinton won and whether or not the FBI played a role in her win.
And regardless of what the truth is of the Trump dossier and the wire taps, the FBI would have played a major role in Hillary Clinton winning by not charging her with a crime for the way she handled classified documents and not charging any of her staff with crimes.
Huma Abedin kept classified documents on her husband’s laptop. How in the world is that legal? If anyone in the country was a sitting duck to be blackmailed it was Anthony Weiner, who is now in prison for sexting with an underage girl. Do you think he would be in prison today if Hillary Clinton had been elected president?
I doubt if Hillary Clinton would have pardoned Weiner because that would have been bad publicity, but I imagine something would have happened to the evidence. It would have disappeared like so many of Hillary Clinton’s emails or like the information proving that the IRS was targeting conservative nonprofit groups for special treatment.
If you remember that case, the IRS officials claimed that the IRS had no computer backup system. It turned out to be a lie, but it bought them a lot of time.
One major media outlet is listing Trump as saying that Obama had him wiretapped as one of the biggest lies of 2017. How can that be considered a lie when we now know that it is true? The FBI was listening to the Trump campaign. It had warrants to do it, but we know that it was done.
I suppose you could claim it was a lie because Obama didn’t go into the Trump Tower himself and place wiretaps on Trump’s telephone line, but since most people use cell phones these days, that’s not how it’s done.
It was the FBI under Obama that had the Trump campaign under electronic surveillance, but if the liberal media are quibbling over word choice that seems a little sad. What is even sadder is if they don’t believe that the Trump campaign was under electronic surveillance.
Right now, conservatives, who are usually big supporters of the FBI, don’t trust the organization. Trump is going to have to take action to assure that American confidence in the FBI is restored.
So far Mueller hasn’t touched Trump. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will give Mueller to the end of time to find something, but Rosenstein has a boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the Russian collusion investigation in one of the worst political moves of the decade. But Sessions is still Rosenstein’s boss and can make it exceedingly clear that he expects the investigation to end soon.
It is no longer an investigation of the Trump campaign colluding with the Russians. It is an investigation to find anything to make Trump look bad.
Mueller should have lost some of his autonomy by hiring Peter Strzok, Andrew Weissmann and Aaron Zebley.
Strzok is now gone because it was discovered that he had written a number of texts condemning Trump and praising Hillary Clinton.
Weissmann attended the Hillary Clinton victory party, which must have been a pretty sad affair.
Zebley was the attorney for the IT guy who installed Hillary Clinton’s illegal private server and Zebley kept him from testifying before Congress.
Republican congressional representatives are asking if one of the requirements to be on the Mueller team was that you had to be pro-Clinton, and it certainly appears that way. If Mueller had wanted to run a clean and fair investigation, none of them would have been on his team.
So the question is, what is Mueller doing. This is supposed to be an unbiased investigation of the Trump campaign and Mueller hired a whole bunch of Hillary Clinton supporters, and not just people who voted for her but clear, obvious supporters. People don’t go a candidate’s victory party unless they are invested in the candidate.
Nobody thinks that Mueller is stupid and he’s been around Washington long enough to understand politics. But it is entirely possible that Mueller hired the people he knew in Washington and that the only people he knew were huge Hillary Clinton supporters.
The Washington swamp doesn’t have many Trump supporters and it’s possible that Mueller doesn’t know any.
It’s like when the Republicans took over Congress in 1994, and reporters who had covered Congress for years didn’t know a single Republican congressional representative or staffer because the Democrats had been in control for so long that nobody paid much attention to the Republicans.
Mueller could be like that. It’s entirely possible that he hired people who he knew were good investigators and it didn’t bother him that they were all rabid Hillary Clinton supporters because everyone he knew was a rabid Hillary Clinton supporter, including the man who hired him, Rosenstein. It sounds outlandish, but Washington is an extremely liberal city.
Regardless of the reason, Mueller’s investigation is tainted. A large portion of the American people isn’t going to believe anything he reports because they don’t trust him or his team.
Mueller should be told to come up with some evidence of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign or fold up his tents and go home.
Once the investigation is over, Trump can order Sessions to fire Rosenstein and anyone else who still supports Hillary Clinton over the elected president. Trump then needs to push FBI Director Chris Wray aside, hire someone he can trust and give them a free hand to clean house.
The mainstream media will howl and wail about how unfair it is, but it isn’t unfair. It is politics and it is a political system. In a political system, if you back the loser you pay the price.
Trump – because he was naive, or received bad advice, or perhaps because he is actually kindhearted – didn’t purge the government the way he should have.
When Trump was elected he hired Reince Priebus as his chief of staff. Priebus had never worked for the government, much less in the White House, and may have known more about how the White House worked than Trump, but not nearly as much as people with experience.
The night before George W. Bush took office, the Clinton White House staff stole the “W’s” from the keyboards in the White House offices. The Clintons themselves stole the White House furniture, but the staff messed up the office equipment as much as they could. Do you think Bush kept any of those people around to work for him?
When Obama was elected he even had the White House volunteers checked out to see what party they were in. Obama didn’t want anyone in the White House, even if they were just licking envelopes and mailing letters, that wasn’t loyal to him. It’s a lesson that Trump needs to learn.
This isn’t business where your opponent in one deal might be your partner in the next. This is politics – far meaner and dirtier than even real estate development.
Trump made a not very veiled threat that there could be consequences if countries didn’t support the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The liberal mainstream media have been highly critical of Trump for suggesting that payments to the United Nations and foreign aid could be affected by the way a country behaved.
The US pays well over 20 percent of the cost of running the UN. If the UN is not helping to further the interests of the US, it doesn’t seem to make sense for the US to pay more than twice as much as any other country to keep it operating. Why should the US pay for the operation of an international organization that is fighting against US interests?
It makes sense to me for other countries to pick up more of the cost of operating the UN, and that would in fact make it a more international organization. What’s international about a bunch of countries deciding what they want to do and then having the US pay for it, even if the US doesn’t agree?
Generally people make more responsible decisions when they have some skin in the game. If the US is going to pick up the tab, why should other countries be concerned about how much an initiative costs?
Perhaps if the UN believes it has a right to determine the capital city of Israel, it should determine the capital city of every other country in the UN. The UN might decide that New York should be the capital of the US or that they would much rather go to Rio de Janeiro rather than Brasilia and that Rio should be the capital of Brazil. Vancouver might be considered better by a majority of UN representatives than Ottawa as the capital of Canada.
If the UN is to determine the capital cities, then let the UN do it. Why should Israel be singled out as the only country that isn’t allowed to determine its own capital city?
After Trump scolded NATO countries for not paying their fair share, countries increased their spending on defense. Maybe Trump can do the same thing with the UN and get more countries to share the burden.
The US needs to spend more money at home on its own infrastructure. It isn’t fair that other countries have the money to spend on their infrastructure because the US is picking up the tab for international organizations.
Trump spent his first Christmas as president at Mar-a-Lago, where he provided a Christmas dinner for all the Secret Service agents and local law enforcement personnel who had to work Christmas day to protect him.
Obama used to spend Christmas in Hawaii and it never appeared that he liked the Secret Service or law enforcement very much.
But George W. Bush spent Christmas at the White House so that as many of the folks that protected him as possible could spend Christmas at home with their families. After Christmas, Bush would travel to his ranch in Texas. It’s not a huge deal, but it does indicate what kind of man Bush is. He would have rather been at his own home, but in consideration of those who worked for him he stayed in the White House.
I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure that the record low temperatures in the Northeast are caused by global warming. Hurricanes, which this area had long before the US was a country, are now caused by global warming. Both floods and droughts, which have been recorded as far back as man has recorded history, are now caused by global warming. Even some polar bear dying was caused by global warming despite the fact that every polar bear who has ever lived has died or will die.
So there is no way that record low temperatures are not also caused by global warming; I just haven’t seen how they figure that one yet.