The Real Numbers vs The Propaganda

Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall today about taxes.

The article includes the following:

Democrats already have a well-worn, and misleading, talking point about it: 83 percent of the tax cuts go to the wealthiest 1 percent. That’s true for 2027 but only because most of the individual income tax changes expire by then…The important missing context is that the final tax legislation, which President Donald Trump signed into law Dec. 22, allows most of its individual income tax provisions to expire by 2027, making the tax benefit distribution more lopsided for the top 1 percent than in earlier years. In 2018, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, the top 1 percent of income earners would glean 20.5 percent of the tax cut benefits — a sizable chunk, but far less than the figure that’s preferred by Democrats. And in 2025, that percentage would be 25.3 percent, with the top 1 percent (those earning above $837,800) getting an average tax cut of $61,090. Just two years later, in 2027, the percentage of tax benefits to this income group jumps to 82.8 percent, “because almost all individual income tax provisions would sunset after 2025,” explains TPC. 

The article explains who pays income taxes:

The much-maligned top one percent paid more than 37 percent of all federal income taxes that year, which is the most recent on record for which we have data.  The top three percent footed just over half of the total federal income tax bill.  And those in the top five percent were responsible for paying nearly 60 cents of every federal income tax dollar collected by Uncle Sam.  If you look at the black lines on the bar graph above, you will see that the federal income tax share paid by “the rich” far outpaced their respective portions of the nation’s overall earnings.  The bottom half of US earners — 50 percent of the country — paid approximately three percent of all federal income taxes in 2016, slightly less than the contributions of the top .001 percent alone.  The Left’s political stories about “fair shares” and “millionaires and billionaires” may pack a potent rhetorical punch in the service of fueling grievance politics and class warfare, but they’re not grounded in facts and omit crucial perspective.  It’s worth noting that in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, the GOP holds a record-high 15 point lead over Democrats on the economy.

It really is time to consider a flat tax, where deductions are very limited and everyone pays the same percentage. Our current tax code is demotivational–it does not encourage prosperity. However, in reality we need to fix the spending–that will eventually fix the tax code.

 

Don’t Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Political Smear

Yesterday Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall with the following headline, “FBI Director to Dems: Actually, Our Follow-Up Investigation on Kavanaugh Followed Standard Procedure.”

The article notes some of the events surrounding the confirmation of Justice Kavanuagh:

Let’s begin with a handy recap.  For nearly two months over the summer, Senate Democrats sat on Christine Blasey Ford’s 36-year-old allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein reportedly telling colleagues that the claim was too distant and too unverifiable to merit serious scrutiny.  Dr. Ford told Democrats that she did not want to be named publicly.  Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation hearings came and went, over which period Democrats scored no points with their posturing and demagoguery (most of the Judiciary Committee Democrats announced their opposition to Kavanaugh within minutes of him being named, with some seeking to accrue extra style points for shrillness and hysteria).  At no time in any meetings with Kavanaugh did any Democrat ask about the high school-era accusation, nor did the subject come up at any stage of the public or private hearings.  None of the traditional committee protocols for investigating a nominee were ever set into motion.  

With a vote looming, the Democrats leaked Ford’s allegation, against her explicit wishes.  A deranged circus ensued, during which Feinstein and her colleagues (when they weren’t actively validating utterly outrageous, baseless, and ultimately discredited smears) demanded delays, new hearings, and an FBI investigation.  They ended up getting all three.

…Federal agents spoke to the alleged fact witnesses named by the two most credible (which is not to say credible) Kavanaugh accusers, filing a report with those interviews.  This resulted in absolutely zero new evidence or testimony that could corroborate either story — neither of which could be backed up by any of the accusers’ own named witnesses.  Indeed, the only new information the FBI appeared to turn up was apparent improper pressure applied against one of the fact witnesses by Ford’s allies. 

The article includes a statement to Congress by Christopher Wray:

FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate on Wednesday that the White House put limits on the re-opened investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but the law enforcement chief insisted that the process used was a typical one. “Our supplemental update to the previous background investigation was limited in scope and that … is consistent with the standard process for such investigations going back a long ways,” Wray said under questioning by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on global security threats…”I’ve spoken with our background investigation specialists and they have assured me this was handled in a way consistent with their experience and the standard process,” the FBI director said, later adding that the inquiry was “very specific in scope—limited in scope.”

There was no cover-up by the FBI. It is difficult to investigate a thirty-something-year-old alleged assault when the alleged victim can’t remember where, when, how she got there, or how she got home. All she remembered is that she only had one beer. Was that so unique that she remembered it?

At any rate, the political left will continue to demonize Justice Kavanaugh just as surely as he will make decisions based on the Constitution. It’s up to the American voters to decide how much of what they have heard is true.

 

 

Making Our Schools Safer

The IJR posted an article yesterday about a panel on school safety. The panel was held during Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit and moderated by Townhall’s Guy Benson. The panel included family members of school shooting victims.

The article reports:

While many family members of victims usually speak out in support of enacting more gun control laws, that wasn’t the case with Hunter Pollack and J.T. Lewis.

Pollack, whose sister, Meadow, died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, said he was proud to help pass Florida Senate Bill 7026, which allows programs to be created for retired law enforcement and veterans to go through an extensive training course before being sent to protect public schools in the event of an active shooter.

“When Columbine happened, gun control was the talk, and it was a big distraction,” Pollack said. “Then Red Lake happened. [They said] we needed gun control, big distraction. Then Sandy Hook happened. They fought for gun control, [gun control] was another distraction.

“Now, it’s Stoneman Douglas, it stops with us,” he continued. “Our schools need to be safe. We need metal detectors, we need single-point entry, we need armed guards, and we need more resources for mental health.” 

Lewis, who lost his brother in the Sandy Hook shooting, echoed Pollack’s view of gun control not being the answer to school shootings.

Gun control has never been successful–criminals find ways to get guns–but in the age of 3-D printers, gun control is pretty much impossible. The Second Amendment protects the rights of Americans to bear arms, but even if that right were somehow taken away, the advent of the 3-D printer would make any laws prohibiting guns unenforceable.

The article further reports:

Matt Whitlock, who also serves as Hatch’s [Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)] communications director, told the audience the importance of getting involved at the local level since it is local leaders who are in charge of keeping kids safe, using the recently passed STOP School Violence Act as an example.

“The STOP School Violence Act is an excellent example of what good, substantial activism can lead to,” Whitlock told IJR. “First, because it was the powerful voices of young people that helped pass the bill into law, and second, because young people now have an opportunity to work with their local leaders to ensure STOP resources are used in their own schools.

“The STOP School Violence Act is about empowering local leaders to tailor school safety programs to fit their specific needs, and it’s about empowering local communities to hold those local leaders accountable for using these tools to keep them safe,” he added.

Amy Swearer, a legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, pointed to how schools are the safest they’ve been in 30 years despite the massive coverage of school shootings when they occur. She cautioned, however, that simply citing the numbers is not always the best approach when talking to victims.

There is a solution to school shootings. The STOP School Violence Act is one part of that solution.

Pro-growth Or No-growth

Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall today about the impact of the Trump Tax Cuts on the American economy. As has been pointed out by anyone with a brain, any deficits in Washington are caused by a spending problem–not by a lack of tax revenue.

The article includes a chart showing revised economic growth estimates based on the growth that has already occurred because of the tax cuts:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now projects 156.8 million jobs in America by year-end 2027—2.6 million more jobs than in its June 2017 Budget and Economic Outlook. CBO attributes an average of 1.1 million additional jobs over the next 10 years to the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

On April 10, I posted an article detailing the Democrats plan to roll back the tax cuts and increase both personal and corporate taxes. That will bring us back to the slow economic growth we experienced under President Obama. The Republicans need to make sure that the American voters understand that–a vote for a Democratic Congressman is a vote for economic slowdown.

Economic policies do have consequences. That has become very obvious in the past year or so.

Lost In The Partisan Hype

Guy Benson posted an article today at Townhall about the American economy under President Trump.

The article quotes a Wall Street Journal article listing economic milestones:

The number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits has never been so low for so long.  Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., decreased by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 233,000 in the week ended April 7, the Labor Department said Thursday. This means claims have now held below 300,000 for 162 consecutive weeks, cementing the longest streak for weekly records dating back to 1967...The current streak eclipsed the previous longest stretch that ended in April 1970. Taking into account the size of the labor force, claims today compared to the late 1960s and early 1970s are much lower…The consistently low claims levels point to labor market health because they mean relatively few Americans are losing their jobs and applying for benefits to tide them over until they can find new employment. After several years of consistent job growth, firms are reluctant to let employees go in a tightening labor market in which many available workers are quickly snapped up.

Wow.

Further good news:

Trump’s speech came amid surging optimism among American manufacturers thanks to the after-effects of the GOP’s recently-implemented tax reform law. More than 93% of manufacturers have a positive outlook on their company’s prospects in the U.S. economy – the second-highest level ever recorded by the National Association of Manufacturers –  its most recent quarterly survey revealed. Meanwhile, optimism among small manufacturers was at its highest level ever recorded throughout the survey’s 20 year history; 94.5% of companies reported that they were positive about their future. Wage growth among those manufacturers surveyed also rose at the fastest pace in 17 years…The survey showed that manufacturers expected full-time employment to increase by 2.9% on average over the next year, an all-time high by the survey’s standards. Companies also said capital investments are likely to rise by 3.9% over the next 12 months, while inventories are expected to rise by 1.7%.

The two main causes for the economic boom are cutting the regulations that make it difficult for businesses to grow and changing the tax codes so that Americans get to keep more of what they earn. Small business is one of the main engines of job growth in America, and changing the way small businesses pay taxes has a very positive impact on job growth. One other factor in the economic boom is the move toward American energy independence. Low energy costs and low taxes are two things that attract foreign businesses. Because America now has both of these assets, we are more attractive as a place for foreign business to relocate. We are more competitive in the global marketplace because of the policies of President Trump. That is a really good thing.

It’s Generally Inconvenient When The Chickens Come Home To Roost

Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall.com today about what is happening to health insurance premiums in Florida due to ObamaCare.

The article reminds us of some of the promises made when ObamaCare was passed:

“We will lower your premiums by $2,500 per family, per year.”

“…save a typical family an average of $2,500 on their healthcare costs…”

“Everybody will have lower rates.”

Well, it just hasn’t worked out that way. There will be an average health insurance rate increase of 13.2 percent for Floridians who buy healthcare insurance on the individual market next year.

Those who supported ObamaCare also told us that ObamaCare would bend the ‘cost curve’ of overall health spending downward. That hasn’t happened either. The projected ten-year cost of ObamaCare has nearly doubled from its original estimated cost. It has followed the path of other government programs over the years–cost more, solve fewer problems.

To add to the mess, the Washington Examiner posted a story yesterday about a government healthcare program started in California as part of the economic stimulus package.

The Washington Examiner reported:

“We need to bundle payments so you aren’t paid for every single treatment you offer a patient with a chronic condition like diabetes, but instead paid well for how you treat the overall disease,” Obama told the crowd of physicians.

Obama was articulating what would become one of the key payment reforms in his health care law — a proposal aimed at giving incentives to providers to control costs by rewarding them for providing less expensive care.

But a study published in the journal Health Affairs looked at an ambitious three-year pilot program of bundled payments in California that was funded by a $2.9 million grant from Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package — and found that the program was such a massive failure, it could hardly get off the ground.

“In spite of a high level of enthusiasm and effort, the pilot did not succeed in its goal to implement bundled payment for orthopedic procedures across multiple payers and hospital-physician partners,” the study reads. “An evaluation of the pilot documented a number of barriers, such as administrative burden, state regulatory uncertainty, and disagreements about bundle definition and assumption of risk. Ultimately, few contracts were signed, which resulted in insufficient volume to test hypotheses about the impact of bundled payment on quality and costs.”

Can we please get the government out of our healthcare and let the people who actually know something about it run it?

 

A Surprise Victory For Republicans

Guy Benson at Hot Air posted an article today on the special election held in Arkansas on Tuesday. The election took place in Craighead County, which has not been represented by a Republican in the state senate since reconstruction. John Cooper, the Republican candidate, won the election with 57.21 percent of the vote.

On Sunday, the Daily Kos reported:

The Democratic nominee is Steve Rockwell, a businessman and political science professor at Arkansas State University. The Republican nominee is John Cooper, a retired businessman and former candidate for the State House of Representatives.

…On the politics side of things, this election is huge. Craighead County is a key area of the state for both Mark Pryor and Mike Ross to win (they need to get at minimum 49% of the vote in this county to win the state) If Rockwell can’t put up a decent showing, Democrats are going to have some serious issues going into 2014.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

So here we had a contested race in a traditionally Democratic area, the outcome of which held significant implications for Mark Pryor’s re-election bid.  An Obamacare-related controversy drove the campaign. Oh, and according to an email blast from the NRSC, the Republican candidate was outgunned on the spending front by a three-to-one margin.

There is hope.

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Quote Of The Week

This quote is from an article posted at Townhall.com today by Guy Benson. The article deals with the lies currently being told by Debbie Wasserman Shultz (DWS) about Paul Ryan‘s plan to save Medicare.

This is the quote:

Just a reminder: I do not pick on DWS because she’s an easy target.  I hold her to account because she is Barack Obama’s hand-picked leader of his party.  She’s not a fringe player.  She’s the DNC Chairwoman, installed at the request of the president of the United States.  This seems like a good commercial for Mitt Romney: “I picked Paul Ryan.  He picked Debbie and Joe.  I’m Mitt Romney and I approve this message.”

That works for me.

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