Tyranny of the Left

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) says he’ll cut off the power and water to those homes and businesses

that are in violation of gathering regulations as a means to “shut these places down permanently.”
“By turning off that power, shutting off that water we feel we can close these places down, which usually are not one-time offenders but multiple-offenders[.]”

Never mind that draconian lockdowns damage the economy to the point of doing more harm than the Wuhan Virus. Garcetti, in addition to permanently destroying businesses—and the lives of those business’ owners, operators, and employees—fully intends to destroy homes and homeowners, also.

Tax Misallocation

The misallocation, this time, is not in the way our tax monies are being spent.

It’s in what our money is not being spent on in lieu of paying those taxes in the first place.

According to a 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics survey—before the 2017 tax reform bill had been able to percolate into our economy in any serious way—we Americans spent more on the taxes Government exacts from us than we did on food, clothing, and health care combined.

Byzantine Taxing

Many companies, sitting on billions of dollars of tax credits, want to be able to cash them in promptly.

For example:

Duke has been unable to use all the corporate-research and renewable-energy credits it accumulated because it has been using accelerated tax deductions for capital investments to lower its taxable income, said Dwight Jacobs, the company’s chief accounting officer. That bumped it up against tax-code rules that limit tax credits, leaving $1.8 billion in unused credits on Duke’s books. Under the proposal, the company could get that within months instead of years.
The proposal “would give us more cash today and that would cause us to avoid borrowing money that we would otherwise have to borrow,” said Mr Jacobs.

Market Performance

Great Britain has decided to bar the People’s Republic of China’s telecom company, Huawei, from participating in the British build-out of their 5G network.

The PRC isn’t happy. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian:

Whether the UK will provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese businesses offers a telling clue to how the post-Brexit British market will perform and how secure China’s investment will be in that country. So, we will be closely following the situation.

I certainly hope it’s a telling clue, given that PRC companies are extensions of that government’s intelligence gathering facility.

More Disingenuosity

The Supreme Court has ruled—7-2—in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor and other organizations. The Court upheld the Trump administration’s rule exempting these employers from an Obamacare requirement to provide insurance coverage that includes contraception.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the Court:

We hold today that the Departments had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption. We further hold that the rules promulgating these exemptions are free from procedural defects.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.

Markets

Zimbabwe, in attempt to protect its currency—already a close neighbor of worthless—has decided to close its stock exchange.

If there is no market for the currency, then it has little value in terms of purchasing power. If there is no convertibility of the currency into other currencies, then there is both high risk in holding the currency and reduced interest in holding it.  And so reduced purchasing power.

If the currency has little value and limited convertibility—or either alone—there is little interest in investing in the country or in simply buying its goods or selling foreign goods in—especially if the investments must be done in the domestic currency.

Distractions

Much is being made of the cybersecurity threat, the national security threat, that the People’s Republic of China’s Huawei represents. For instance, Senator Ben Sasse (R, NE) has said it’s good for the British government to be removing Huawei from the core of the British Internet.

Senator Mark Warner (D, VA):

Huawei has been and will continue to be a national security threat….

Senator Tom Cotton (R, AR) on the Brits’ initial decision to allow Huawei into their Internet infrastructure:

[t]he Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will now have a foothold to conduct pervasive espionage on British society.

A Judicial Error

The Supreme Court has ordered a restructuring of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: its single director, removable only for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office, among other things, was an unconstitutional abridgment of Executive Branch authority.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the Court, said that the

setup meant the CFPB’s director was unaccountable to the executive branch, creating an unconstitutional diminishment of presidential power.
“The CFPB’s single-director structure contravenes this carefully calibrated system by vesting significant governmental power in the hands of a single individual accountable to no one[.]”

And then,

Victory for Competitive Free Market Pricing

So far, hospitals will be required to publish the prices they negotiate with their insurers. This will facilitate the public’s ability to comparison shop for hospital procedures and services so as to drive down costs to the public through competition.

The American Hospital Association had sued in Federal court to block a new Trump administration rule that required such publication, but the judge presiding, Carl Nichols, granted the government’s motion for summary dismissal.

Aside from withstanding the inevitable sequence of appeals, a significant part of what’s left, now, is a requirement for hospitals to publish their success rates for various types of procedure and service.

Errant Satrap

That’s how the European Union views Great Britain as the EU continues to demand that Great Britain accede to demands they wish to impose on a sovereign nation—solely to bring that subordinate polity to heel. Examples of the EU’s demands:

  • post-Brexit sovereignty to make Britain more competitive via deregulation, environmental rules or tax reform—these must not occur
  • UK’s ability to subsidize industries in line with EU state-aid regulations—this must be curtailed

The first must not be allowed explicitly because of that competition. The second may be bad business overall, but it’s a domestic matter.

And this, regarding tariffs: