One Party Reign

Congressman Don Beyer (D, VA), Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, has this on working with Republicans to do things (assuming “things” need doing, which isn’t always the case, especially by Government):

I would personally prefer that it [President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion dollar “infrastructure” plan] was fully paid for but I’m not going to insist on it. If we can get it half paid for, that’s a huge step forward….

Debt profusion doesn’t matter. It’s only money.

Working with Republicans on actual infrastructure? Here’s Beyer again:

Costs and Capitalism

Texas State Representative Matt Shaheen (R, District 66—full disclosure: he represents me among others in the District) put this up on his Twitter feed Tuesday:

(Note: the blue box at around 60% on the y-axis reads “Overall Inflation (59.6%”)

Notice that. All those blue-lined curves running at no or decreasing inflation (some might say, “deflation”) are in competitive industries. There’s nothing wrong with those health care costs—hospital and medical care services—that replacing government with competition, with capitalism, in the market segment wouldn’t cure.

An Example of Why

…State and local jurisdictions don’t—and didn’t—need the billions of dollars of Americans’ tax money sent to them as “bailouts.”

San Francisco plans to start paying 130 local artists $1,000 a month starting in May through the fall in a pilot program announced on Thursday.

Here’s the kicker [emphasis added]:

[San Francisco Mayor Landon] Breed previously announced nearly $25 million from a budget surplus that would go toward preserving the arts as well as nearly $12 million in grants to local arts organizations

The PRC, American Business, and Decoupling

Matt Pottinger, former President Donald Trump’s Deputy White House National Security Adviser, had a number of thoughts concerning the People’s Republic of China, and its targeting of American businesses, with unusual bluntness.

Beijing’s message is unmistakable: you must choose. If you want to do business in China, it must be at the expense of American values. You will meticulously ignore the genocide of ethnic and religious minorities inside China’s borders; you must disregard that Beijing has reneged on its major promises—including the international treaty guaranteeing a “high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong; and you must stop engaging with security-minded officials in your own capital unless it’s to lobby them on Beijing’s behalf.
Another notable element of Beijing’s approach is its explicit goal of making the world permanently dependent on China, and exploiting that dependency for political ends.

Mistaken Emphasis

This is what our Federal Reserve Bank MFWIC Jerome Powell said, with a straight face, on public radio last Thursday:

Given the low level of interest rates, there’s no issue about the United States being able to service its debt at this time or in the foreseeable future[.]

Our current national debt is some $27.8 trillion. At Powell’s low interest rates, our interest payments on that debt will amount to some $380 billion for FY2021. Our economy has use for those $380 billion; it would behoove Powell and our…politicians…to cut out the borrowing and begin paying down the debt, rather than hiding behind “sustainability.”

Income Inequality

The Left and their Progressive-Democratic Party like to bleat about this and to complain further about how it has only gotten worse.

They know better.

Here’s a little tidbit, from Phil Gramm’s and John Early’s op-ed in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal:

While the disparity in earned income has become more pronounced in the past 50 years, the actual inflation-adjusted income received by the bottom quintile, counting the value of all transfer payments received net of taxes paid, has risen by 300%. The top quintile has seen its after-tax income rise by only 213%. As government transfer payments to low-income households exploded, their labor-force participation collapsed, and the percentage of income in the bottom quintile coming from government payments rose above 90%.

“Sanctions”

That’s what US, Canada, Britain, and European Union politicians are claiming they’ll impose on the People’s Republic of China in response to PRC genocide efforts against the Uyghurs in the PRC’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The sanctions are expected to vary in type, and will include Global Magnitsky economic sanctions on individuals alleged to be involved with the mistreatment of the Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China.

Among those sanctions are these which the US, Canada, the UK, and the EU already imposed last Monday to four (count ’em) PRC officials:

  • Zhu Hailun, former deputy Communist Party head in Xinjiang

Minimum Wage and “Must Pass” Bills

Congressional Progressive-Democrats are looking for ways to pass a national minimum wage law through Congress.

Progressive House Democrats are rapidly searching for ways to revive the $15 minimum wage increase after a stinging loss in the passage of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus law.

Congressman Mark Pocan (D, WI):

We will get at least 50 votes in the Senate, and we will find a way to finally do what Congress has been negligent to ask for too long; whether it’s adding it to a must-pass bill or pushing it around those arcane Senate rules or some other measure, America will get the raise that is long overdue that we are committed to[.]

Earmarks

Progressive-Democrats in Congress are moving to bring these back. On this, I tend to agree.

Go ahead and do earmarks; they can be useful horse-trading tools. Just set aside 1% of the budget, the rough amount historically spent on them, as a separate line item.

Then require all earmarks in their aggregate to fit within that 1%, and require each earmark to be individually debated on the record and on the floor of the House and the Senate.

Let the public see, up front, what their tax dollars are paying for, and let the particular constituents see how effective their Congressman and Senator really are in representing them in each Congressional session.

The Biden Panic-Mongering

In a Wall Street Journal article about the European Union’s failure to deal with its Wuhan Virus situation in any serious way, there are a couple of graphs that bear on our own situation. The first one concerns the number of confirmed Wuhan Virus cases (which is much less than the number of actual infections).

Notice that. At our worst, there were only some 75 cases per 100,000 people, a roughly 0.075% case rate in our population. (The EU was much better at that time, more on that below.)

The second graph concerns our Wuhan Virus mortality rate.