Tax Cuts Equal More Revenue

Welcome to the wonderful world of REAL economic dynamism. Gee – how much will tax cuts cost us, asked the no-nothing democrats.

from IBD:

Go Figure: Tax Revenues Climbed $18 Billion In First Month Of GOP Tax Cuts

The Congressional Budget Office says that federal revenues in January added up to $362 billion. That’s an increase of $18 billion— or 5.2% — from the year before. As a result, the government ran a surplus of $51 billion that month, which is equal to the previous January.

Wait, weren’t the tax cuts supposed to bankrupt the country to benefit the rich? It almost looks like the tax cuts — which took effect in January — are paying for themselves. read more

Video Podcast – How is Trump’s Economy Doing?

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Today I discuss that the left has been attempting to downplay the startling Trump economic recover by saying that, “See, he didn’t the 3% growth target we were meant to expect.”

Yes, the economy that staggered along at 1.nothing percent to negative percent growth under 8 years of Obama has been eclipsed in short order by 2.3-2.6% growth, and this is somehow disappointing.

I discuss why the huge one day point drop in the Dow is not as big a deal as many would have us think.

And in my financial tip of the day, which is my only tip of the day, I discuss how Federal Reserve interest rate hikes will affect credit card debt and payments, and what to do about it read more

No to Protectionism Mr. President

from IBD:

High Tariffs And Weak Dollar Are No Way To Make America Great Again

As we’ve noted many times, President Trump’s first year was a rousing success when it comes to economic policy. But one new troubling exception has recently emerged: The Trump administration’s advocacy of a weaker dollar and trade protection. It’s a big mistake.

 In recent months, the U.S. dollar has weakened noticeably against other currencies. The Fed’s trade-weighted dollar index, which measures the dollar’s value against all of our trading partners, after adjusting for volume of trade, has fallen just over 8% in the past year, to a three-year low. That’s a sizable decline.

What concerns us is that the pace has picked up since the start of this year, with the dollar falling more than 3% since January 1 as talk of more trade protection for the U.S. economy gathers steam.  More importantly, the Trump administration has all but announced an explicit policy goal of having a weaker dollar. read more

Right and Left Just Keep on Spending

from Rand Paul for the Washington Examiner:

Sen. Rand Paul: The debt and the decline of empire

I ran into a couple of GOP senators the other day. They were talking about the fall of the Roman Empire (who knew senators might actually discuss history?). One senator made the point that Rome’s fall corresponded with a loss of values, which of course has some merit. But that’s missing the bigger picture. I responded that perhaps their decline had something to do with being overextended militarily, knowing that they would likely reject this point since it might imply that the United States, also, might be faced with the same future.

History certainly has lessons, but it’s amazing that after 2,000 years we still draw different conclusions. I couldn’t resist to jab them a little: “You know our own decline will ultimately come when we can’t manage our debt.”

read more

Have We Thought Through the Idea of the Driverless Car

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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The driverless autonomous car has, it seems, finally come of age, with General Motors’ announcement of the release of the new GM Cruise AV (autonomous vehicle). At least this is what GM is banking on.

The Cruise has no gas pedal, no steering wheel, no brake or clutch pedal, no turn signals.

A report, by the New York Times, indicates that last Friday, January 12, “G.M. said it had submitted a petition to the United States Department of Transportation seeking permission to begin operating fully autonomous cars — without steering wheels or pedals — in a commercial ride-hailing service next year,” similar to Uber and Lyft.

There have been “driverless” cars before the GM, but most were not truly driverless, owing to the fact they still retained a steering wheel and various pedals.

The GM Cruise AV is the first truly driverless, fully autonomous mass production car. There is literally no way for a human to drive it. read more

Foxconn’s Olympic Venue

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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On the surface, it’s great to hear that companies are repatriating themselves. Not just money coming back in, but companies either moving back or expanding facilities in the United States rather than over seas.

The problem is that many States are so desperate for the potential of an additional tax base that state governments tend to offer extraordinary perks and tax breaks to entice the multi-national corporations to set up shop in their State. So much so that the companies end up receiving ridiculous amounts of relief and “incentives” from the State for the privilege of effectively underwriting the new facility.

Exhibit A: In July, 2017, Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer that makes electronics for Apple and other tech companies, announced that it will build a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker eagerly proclaimed that, “The project will create 13,000 new jobs and should be completed by 2020.”

Foxconn’s projections were a tad more subdued. “In a statement, the company said the project will create 3,000 jobs with the ‘potential’ to generate up to 13,000 new jobs.” read more

Podcast – The Sugar Tax – A Study of Cartoon Dialect

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

The city of Seattle Washington has just instituted a massive tax on sugary beverages that is already hitting consumers hard. The tax is almost doubling the cost of sugary drinks. Consumers and small businesses are upset by it, but matters not to the Nanny State politicians and egg heads who are doing this for our own good.

Two academics have taken it upon themselves to study the dialects of childrens’ cartoon characters, and have found something both startling and apparently disturbing. Virtually all good guys (and girls) portrayed in cartoons have American accents, but villains are predominantly represented with English accents. This, they say, is a problem, because, as we know, Americans, particularly white Americans, are not supposed to be the good guys. read more

Social Democracy Won’t Work in America

from the Washington Examiner:

What liberals and progressives get so horribly wrong about taxes

It’s a consistent complaint that those wondrous social democracies over in Europe get so much more from government, so why can’t we here in the U.S.? Some advocating this are even willing to make the (true) point that to get so much more from government, we’ll all have to pay so much more, as they do, in taxes.

Well, as long as people are willing to point out both sides of this, that we can only get “free” healthcare and college if we pay for it, then that’s fine. It becomes an argument over what is either efficient or fair as a method of delivering those things which we know we’re going to have, healthcare and college. read more

Is Bitcoin Un-Islamic due to Faith or Control

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

On Monday, it was reported that the Grand Mufti of Egypt has issued a fatwa, or ruling, on cryptocurrency, and specifically Bitcoin. He has banned it as being “un-Islamic.” Grand Mufti, Shawki Allam decreed that the virtual currency is “forbidden” by Sharia law “due to its direct responsibility in financial ruin for individuals.” He added that it “was not permissible as it is not considered by legitimate bodies an “acceptable interface of exchange.’”

In other words, he likens it to gambling, which is forbidden under Sharia.

Now, the old Mufti may say that Bitcoin is un-Islamic and forbidden by Sharia, but is his fatwa really based on firmly held religious belief, or does it come down to a matter of government control.

Obviously, I don’t know what is in Shawki Allam’s heart. I can only attempt to interpret what else he says about it. read more

No Talk of Government Cutting Back

from The Blaze:

Republicans and Democrats open 2018 by arguing over how much to grow the size of government

As the holiday season comes to a close, Republicans and Democrats are opening the new year by resuming debate over a measure to fund the government through the end of 2018. The two sides failed to reach a compromise before the end of the year on such thorny issues as protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and funding for a wall on the southern border. But in addition to these sticking points, the two sides also appear to disagree over exactly how much the government should grow. read more