Here are my observations on the news of the day.
HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT the Democrat proposal for a bipartisan approach to the tax reform legislation? It was revealed in the left-leaning New York Times, of course, with the headline, “After Health Care Victory, Senate Democrats Seek Compromise on Tax Plan.” I believe you know how I feel about compromising with Democrats – we lose.
To their credit,” The Wall Street Journal, however, reports, “Senate Democrats have generously decided to save everyone’s time by ruling out anything that deviates from their agenda of raising more government revenue and maintaining high marginal tax rates.”
In a letter signed by 45 of the 48 Democrats, there is no mention of simplifying or cutting anyone’s taxes. Incidentally, the three who didn’t sign the letter are up for reelection in 2018.
While President Trump has spoken of a tax cut for the middle class and making one’s income tax filing much simpler, there is currently no tax reform document available to consider.
As usual, Democrats (Schumer & Company) fail to agree on tax cuts for the top one percent, the job creators. The Tax Foundation reports that the top one percent of income earners pay more than 39 percent of all income taxes, followed by the top five percent who pay nearly 60 percent .
“In 2014,” reports the WSJ, “the top one percent accounted for more income taxes than the bottom 90 percent combined.”
There’s more to tax reform than personal income. The corporate tax rate needs to come down to 20 percent, or preferably 15 percent. And the death tax needs to be eliminated, among other provisions.
Passing tax reform is expected to be much easier than health insurance for the GOP, and will be welcomed by individuals and corporations alike. We’ll see.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE to conduct an investigation in the government? Of course, it depends on the scope of the probe. On January 12, 2016, we learned that the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz would review broad allegations of misconduct involving then FBI Director James Coney and how he handled the probe of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail practices. With all of the documents that have been produced and testimony we have heard, surely Horowitz has had sufficient time to complete his probe. Just imagine how long it will be before Robert Mueller completes his investigation.
THOSE UNMASKING CHARGES – Perhaps you’ve heard that investigators want to talk with former President Obama’s deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes regarding the unmasking during the last presidential campaign. It has been disclosed that Rhodes could request congressional unmaskings on behalf of his boss, Susan Rice. You may recall that Rice has denied that she asked to unmask names of Trump associates for political reasons.
In 1992, under previous rules authorized by former President George H. W. Bush his CIA Director Bob Gates had to give prior written approval for unmasking. However, Obama’s DNI James Clapper rewrote the rules for unmasking in 2013, expanding the list of individuals who could request an unmasking, opening the door to a passel of senior deputies and senior advisors, who could make requests on behalf of their bosses. Access gone wild.
In case you haven’t heard: Clapper, the man who lied to a senate committee when he responded “not wittingly” when questioned whether millions of Americans had been surveilled, has been hired by CNN, the fake news network.
Unbelievably, President Trump’s DNI Dan Coats reissued Clapper’s rules last month, signaling approval of the expanded access. What was he thinking?
A SIMPLE QUESTION – Why don’t Republicans, who have control of the House and the Senate, where untold hours and money have been dedicated to investigations regarding who unmasked whom, request the president to simply ask Coats for that information?
MY IDEA CATCHING ON – In my July 25 post, I wrote about the sweet deal former President Obama permitted his Office of Personnel Management to concoct for Congressmen and their staffs, allowing them to avoid purchasing plans under ObamaCare. I suggested that President Trump might want to threaten to direct his OPM to reverse that provision if Congress didn’t pass its health insurance legislation. On Aug. 1, The Federalist carried a piece, “Trump Should End Obama’s Bailout of Congress’ Health Care.” Then, on Aug. 2, The Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial put forth a similar recommendation. Sounds like a great idea, but don’t get excited; it’s not going to happen.
THE LEFTIST ARIZONA REPUBLIC newspaper is still out for the blood of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, despite the “guilty” verdict on charges of criminal contempt as he faces six months in jail and a fine. Under the headline, “Don’t let Arpaio off the hook,” Editorial Columnist Elvia Diaz writes that she “want(s) to move on. I’d rather look to the future and forget the past. But that’s a little convenient, isn’t it? Latinos can’t forget because Arpaio’s anti-immigrant war was an attack against all “brown” people.”
I thought perhaps that “forgiveness” was not in the English to Spanish dictionary, but it is – per’don. Diaz would never use that word with Arpaio, because it so similar to “pardon.”
IT WAS INTERESTING TO NOTE that a reader of the leftist Arizona Republic wrote a letter to the editor noting his displeasure with Sen. John McCain’s abandoning his party and the majority of voters who voted for Donald Trump. The paper has recognized the senator’s desire for his party to work across the aisle on legislation.
I have frequently written about the consequences of compromising with Democrats; as in the first paragraph above. “This talk of compromise with the Democrats is nonsense,” writes Doug Larson of Tonopah, Arizona, “The reason we have so many problems is that the Republications have compromised with the Democrats over the years and let them get a little more of their agenda passed every year by compromising.” I’m not alone.