Category Archives: politics

How’s this idea for tax reform?

I’ve lived off of 1099 income before.  I’ve made estimated-tax payments.  If more people had to cut checks periodically to pay their taxes, perhaps there would be more enthusiasm for reining in Leviathan.  After all, if you never see your money in your account, you never really miss it:

Ban Tax Day

Today is Tax Day, when all of us collectively send our necessary tithe to the church of the almighty bureaucracy, peace be upon them. It’s also a day to consider one reform that would be very positive for the country: reversing the 1943 law making withholding mandatory. It is a dangerous, disruptive, and absolutely necessary step to end the current tax regime.

The overwhelming majority of Americans pay their taxes by having them extracted from their paychecks before they ever see the money. Operating under the fiction that the government is giving you money as opposed to returning what it has already taken is damaging to the psyche of the nation’s taxpayers. The primary argument against such a move – that millions of irresponsible Americans in the income tax-paying classes won’t save up enough to write a giant check to the government come April 15th – encourages a viewpoint of the role of government as an entity that must constantly protect us from ourselves.

‘Deez Nuts’ polling at 9% among North Carolina voters

Who’s next…Al Kaholic?  Mike Rotch?  Maybe even Mike Hunt?

‘Deez Nuts’ polling at 9% among North Carolina voters

The 2016 race for the Republican presidential nomination is officially nuts — “Deez Nuts.”

The race, which already comprises 17 major candidates, got an additional entrant this week who has fashioned his name after an infamous rap song.

A person named “Deez Nuts” filed official paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for President Sunday, CBS News reported, joining more than 500 other random contenders who have the legal right to run for the presidency.

More shockingly, however, is how well Nuts, who is running as an independent, is faring in the key state of North Carolina, where, according a to a Public Policy Polling poll, the mysterious figure got the support of 9% of likely voters.

Even the New York Times no longer buys into the “Southern Strategy” myth

When you’ve lost the NYT…:

The Myth of “the Southern Strategy”

Everyone knows that race has long played a decisive role in Southern electoral politics. From the end of Reconstruction until the beginning of the civil rights era, the story goes, the national Democratic Party made room for segregationist members — and as a result dominated the South. But in the 50s and 60s, Democrats embraced the civil rights movement, costing them the white Southern vote. Meanwhile, the Republican Party successfully wooed disaffected white racists with a “Southern strategy” that championed “states’ rights.”

It’s an easy story to believe, but this year two political scientists called it into question. In their book “The End of Southern Exceptionalism,” Richard Johnston of the University of Pennsylvania and Byron Shafer of the University of Wisconsin argue that the shift in the South from Democratic to Republican was overwhelmingly a question not of race but of economic growth. In the postwar era, they note, the South transformed itself from a backward region to an engine of the national economy, giving rise to a sizable new wealthy suburban class. This class, not surprisingly, began to vote for the party that best represented its economic interests: the G.O.P. Working-class whites, however — and here’s the surprise — even those in areas with large black populations, stayed loyal to the Democrats. (This was true until the 90s, when the nation as a whole turned rightward in Congressional voting.)

Middle class incomes drop as immigration surges

Congress: Middle class incomes drop as immigration surges

Wages of America’s middle class have dropped below 1970s levels as immigration has surged 325 percent, according to a new congressional report that questions claims that native Americans are economically helped by greater immigration.The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service report studied immigration and middle class income from 1945-2013 and found that as immigration slowed between 1945 and 1970, American incomes increased. But when immigration expanded, the incomes of the bottom 90 percent of Americans went flat and then dropped beginning in 2000.

There are no clean hands in Washington on this matter.  For Democrats, immigrants are new voters (never mind that non-citizens aren’t supposed to vote) and new members of the Free Sh*t Army that keeps them in office.  For Republicans, immigrants are cheap labor for business donors (never mind that most businesses aren’t particularly loyal with their political contributions).  With more people chasing roughly the same amount of jobs, it’s pretty much inevitable that the value of an hour’s work would take a hit.

Buyer’s Remorse on 0bamaNet

Who didn’t see this coming? Oh, yes…those of us who were opposed to the cockamamie idea that the government ought to butt into the Internet:

Buyer’s Remorse on Net Neutrality

Quoting the Wall Street Journal:

When Google’s Eric Schmidt called White House officials a few weeks ago to oppose President Obama’s demand that the Internet be regulated as a utility, they told him to buzz off. The chairman of the company that led lobbying for “net neutrality” learned the Obama plan made in its name instead micromanages the Internet.

Mr. Schmidt is not the only liberal mugged by the reality of Obamanet, approved on party lines last week by the Federal Communications Commission. The 300-plus pages of regulations remain secret, but as details leak out, liberals have joined the opposition to ending the Internet as we know it.

…and The NewsTalkers:

Until Congress or the courts block Obamanet, expect less innovation. During a TechFreedom conference last week, dissenting FCC commissioner Ajit Pai asked: “If you were an entrepreneur trying to make a splash in a marketplace that’s already competitive, how are you going to differentiate yourself if you have to build into your equation whether or not regulatory permission is going to be forthcoming from the FCC? According to this, permissionless innovation is a thing of the past.”

The other dissenting Republican commissioner, Michael O’Rielly, warned: “When you see this document, it’s worse than you imagine.” The FCC has no estimate on when it will make the rules public.

Something to think about

Why “spreading the wealth around,” to use one infamous formulation, is generally a Bad Idea when the government’s in charge of it:

Nineteen Neglected Consequences of Income Redistribution