Video Podcast – Let’s Talk Taxes

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

The Senate has now passed their version of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The House has already passed their version. Now it’s on to joint committee to iron out the differences and vote. Then it’s off to the President’s desk for his signature.

Is the Senate version any good? That depends on you ask. But it’s an improvement over our current mess.

The only republican to vote against it was Bob Corker of Tennessee.

I’ll discuss the bill, what a phony Senator Corker is and my thoughts on the bill. I’ll also give my sales pitch for a different type of tax. read more

Video Podcast – How to Pay for Infrastructure

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Today I discuss the nation’s infrastructure that is apparently in need of a serious upgrade – at least according to the current administration.

The question is how we pay for the new massive public works program. Well, some have floated the idea of increasing the gas tax by seven cents a gallon.

I explain why this is a bad idea, as is the reasoning behind it and whether we even should. read more

Tax Cuts and Discounts are Really the Same Thing

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

As the tax debate in Washington heats up, we’re hearing the same tired old refrain of, “The rich don’t deserve nor do they need a tax cut.” It’s an absurdly populist statement. However, this time it’s coming from both the dems and republicans.

In defense of tax cuts for all, the rich included, let me first quote some boring facts and figures. Then I will attempt to inject some business sense into an otherwise senseless argument.

Tax cuts will in fact grow the economy, yet I heard the leftist billionaire Tom Steyer say that since the 1980’s, the top tax rate has been cut from 70% to under 40%. He adds that during that time wages for workers have stagnated. I won’t argue that point here.

I heard him say he got rich on Wall Street, so he knows all about the economy. If this is so, and we’ll assume it is – it would mean he’s lying by omission and knows he is. But he knows most aren’t schooled enough to catch him in the lie.

In fact the economy did grow massively after Reagan’s huge tax cuts. But wages are just a portion of economic growth. And wages, like almost everything else, do not occur in a bubble. Other things affect wages – not just growth, or lack of it.

First, would you rather have a job at slightly lower wages, or no job at all, which occurred during the Carter years? And of course wages often don’t tell the whole story. read more

Bernie Continues to Bash the Rich

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

Politics is the art of currying favor with voters to secure an election. More often than not it is currying favor to secure reelection.

How do politicians’, particularly leftists, best curry favor? They do so by means of give-aways – or at least the promise of give-aways. This is the modern leftist politicians’ job – to makes promises to give voters free stuff. And it’s why so many incumbent politicians get reelected.

Incumbents are already on the inside. A challenger is on the outside looking in. They can only make promises, while the incumbent can remind voters of the free stuff they are already getting – and if they want even more, they should reelect the incumbent. This puts the challenger at a decided disadvantage.

Democrats are masters of the art of the “promised” give-away. But for them and those who actually believe their rhetoric, it is not just about giving away stuff, but promising to take other peoples’ stuff by force of government and giving it to their voters.

The evil rich are their favorite target, and we saw this on display during the Cruz/Sanders tax debate the other night on CNN. All night it was Sanders vs. the rich, with an injection of reality and reason from Ted. read more

WND Exclusive – Democrats love taxing us to death — and beyond

President Trump’s new tax proposal is pretty good. It’s not great, in the opinion of this consistent Constitutionalist, but it ain’t bad.

Naturally, the Democrats hate it. Ali Baba Schumer and his gang of thieves are using the same old tired argument, that it’s just tailored toward benefiting the rich and that “working families” will suffer should Trump triumph.

I think the last Democrat who was in favor of a tax cut was President Kennedy some 54 years ago. As much as we conservatives like to crow about the Kennedy tax plan, it wasn’t great. Oh, it sure did cut taxes, but it wasn’t what we think. read more

Finland Loves Speeders – They’re Good for Business

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

The next time you have to pay a few hundred dollars for a speeding ticket – thank your lucky stars you don’t live in Finland.

A few days ago my son and I were watching a rerun of an episode of The Grand Tour on Amazon. It is the continuation of the wildly successful British program, Top Gear. After one of the hosts got sacked by the BBC, Amazon offered the three hosts about a gazillion dollars (or pounds) to effectively continue the show.

The episode took place in Finland. Finland is unabashedly socialist and progressive. Possibly the most socialist of all European nations.

They are so progressive that they means test virtually everything. Finland is the embodiment of the Marxist ideal of, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

One of the show’s hosts, Richard Hammond, discussed the matter of a simple speeding ticket received by a wealthy Finnish citizen. He was pulled over and ticketed for going 49 in a 30 mph zone.

In America, this might warrant one a ticket of maybe $50 to a few hundred dollars, depending on the State. But regardless of the State, at least for now, everyone ticketed pays the same amount. read more

My Weekly WND Exclusive – Impose Income Tax — on Robots?

Back in 2015, the Fiscal Times wrote an article describing a fear Bill Gates had. “He may be one of the world’s pivotal computing pioneers, mentioned in the same exuberantly geeky breath as Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Tim Berners-Lee. His technological exploits may have earned him over $80 billion, making him the world’s richest man. Yet even Bill Gates is somewhat concerned about the potentially destructive power of technology.”

Point of order. Some claim Gates is no longer the richest. That moniker goes to a Spaniard Amancio Ortega, the owner of the Zara retail chain.

In the article, Gates describes his fear, like Elon Musk, of what they are calling superintelligences – “computers with cognitive and computational abilities that far surpass those of humanity.” read more

Leftist Economist Paul Krugman is Like the Cleveland Browns

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

Paul Krugman – Biggest Loser

My apologies to all you Browns fans.

For regular readers, you know I use a lot of football analogies. Well – here’s another.

Say you get permission from the NFL to create an expansion team – a brand new professional football franchise.

You, the owner, do your due diligence and hire who you feel is the best available Coach and General Manager.

The League office encourages other teams to aid your new franchise, lending their expertise and advice on various issues regarding football operations, free agency, the draft, etc.

One day you sit down with your new General Manager and Coach and start making calls to other teams for guidance. So whom do you call? And who do you not?

If you’re smart, you call the proven winners – starting with the New England Patriots (of course), then move on to the Steelers, Broncos, Packers, Cowboys and Giants. You seek out the proven winners – franchises that show up in the playoffs either every year, or at least most years.

Who you don’t call is the Cleveland Browns, the Buffalo Bills, or Jacksonville Jaguars. No offence, but why would you or anyone take advice on building a winning franchise from teams that rarely, if ever, win. read more

My WND Weekly Exclusive

There’s nothing good about Goodlatte

The American economy is shaky at best. Since the economic collapse in 2008, and thanks in large part to Obama’s grand recovery/stimulus plan, the country has been teetering on the edge of another recession. Frankly, despite the rigid definition, many Americans would agree we’ve been in a recession for years.

As Republicans and conservatives, we are supposed to be the fiscal hawks. Our party and our representatives are supposed to be the ones who understand that you can’t tax your way out of a bad economy. Quite the contrary. We know, or should, that excessive taxes will kill any recovery.

But we are not politicians – politicians like Virginia Republican and House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte. read more

Yes Olympians, the Taxman Is Coming for You

by: the Common Constitutionalist

It’s not often I repeat myself, but considering I discussed this topic in my last podcast, I guess it’s only half repeating. You may listen to it here.

But this one just irks me – the fact that our government is so hard up for money it has to tax our Olympic medalists. Oh sure – there is a way to avoid paying the tax. Just compete, but make sure you don’t medal. Come in fourth – or last.

I guess in a way you could call it an optional tax – like a sales tax. If you don’t wish to pay the tax, don’t purchase the item.

I’m actually a big advocate of the sales tax, in lieu of others. It really is the only optional tax – assuming you are like the rest of us and in fact not immortal, thereby able to forgo the death tax. Other than that, our government has seen to it that everyone pays up.

But what bureaucratic brainiac consciously made the decision to tax our Olympic athletes? Was it some 98 pound chicken-necked little worm in the back room of a DC office who may have been slighted by a jock in high school?

It has been dubbed the “victory tax” and is said to be opposed by Congress. But I guess it’s not opposed by enough of them, for there is presently a bill waiting to be passed that has yet to be. Maybe with a little more publicity it may gain some traction, but I doubt it. It’s much easier to pass a bill adding to the already bloated coffers of government then to pass one which could help our athletes who train their whole lives for chance to represent OUR country. read more