Much Ado about Nothing

Oxford Economics is worried about the costs of President Donald Trump’s tariffs as he fights back against the People’s Republic of China’s long economic war (trade, intellectual property theft, technology transfer extortions and thefts, etc) against us.

The move to 25% tariffs on imports from the PRC, coupled with the PRC’s answer of tariffs on its imports from us would cost our economy $29 billion and the global economy some $105 billion by 2020, Oxford Economics claims.  The CBO estimates our GDP to be $22.77 trillion; the projected tariff costs work out to 0.1% of our economy.  Taking the global economy as the OECD’s, the 2017 global GDP was some $49.6 trillion; the projected costs work out to roughly 0.2% of the world’s economy.

Consternation Among Investors

The English Channel island of Guernsey has long been a haven for low tax rates and lower regulation.  Now the island is serving as a bypass of EU regulations mandating transparency in bond transactions.

On Guernsey, those rules don’t apply. A key flashpoint for investors is the use of password-protected websites to restrict access to company financial information. Unlike in the rest of the EU, where companies with publicly listed shares or bonds must make financial reporting readily available to the public, bond issuers in Guernsey can keep such information under virtual lock and key and can restrict who has access.

Medicare for All

Senator and Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I [sic], VT) has the canonical version of Medicare for All; the other Progressive-Democrat candidates have only slightly varied versions of it.  Here’s Sanders on his Next Big Idea for health care provision and health care coverage:

You will have a card which has Medicare on it, you’ll go to any doctor that you want, you’ll go to any hospital that you want.

Right.  Been there, done that.  Both claims were straight up lies then, too.  There is a major difference, though, between Sanders’ two lies and ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) two lies: Sanders would make private insurance illegal—both the selling and the possessing.  That, though, only potentiates the power of Sanders’ lies.

Avoid Debate

It might make some folks uncomfortable.  That seems to be the position of Lance Morrow, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, in his Wall Street Journal piece.  After all, goes the subhead on his piece:

It would push the country to angrier extremes on either side, stimulating fresh antagonisms.

Morrow urged us all to “stop and think” about the implications of having a debate, here on the matter of reparations for past slavery-related transgressions.

The notion may be too volatile to indulge in a presidential-campaign year.

Leaving aside Morrow’s other major concern—

Puzzling Through Tax Breaks

The Progressive-Democrats, and too many Republicans, in Congress are trying to sort out what should be done about expiring tax breaks.

Here are some of the expiring or about to expire tax breaks:

  • incentives for biodiesel production
  • deductibility of private mortgage insurance
  • tax credits for investing in low-income areas
  • employers’ family-leave plans
  • expansion of the earned-income tax credit

The answer is really quite simple and straightforward, if extremely difficult politically: let them all expire. Our Federal tax code should not be used for social engineering; it should be used solely for its constitutionally mandated purpose: to fund our Federal government.

Favorable Jobs Report, Therefor Cut Interest Rates?

That’s the latest push, this time by Vice President Mike Pence.  He’s as wrong, though, as President Donald Trump, for all that he’s more genteel in his push.

There’s no inflation happening here. The economy is roaring. This is exactly the time not only to not raise interest rates, but we ought to consider cutting them[.]

Pence made this remark on the heels of Labor’s employment report announcing strong job growth, rising wages, and 3.6% unemployment.

Socialism and Good Intentions

Carol Roth, in her op-ed for FOXBusiness, said that Socialism begins with good intentions.

No, socialism does not.  Perhaps the first attempts did, but with its unbroken history of wealth concentration, power concentration, and utter failure—even for those in the concentrated top—before us and well known, that much is clear.  On the contrary, those proselytizing for and instigating socialist regimes have as their sole goal the accretion of wealth and power to themselves—and this time it’ll be different, this time they’ll pull it off.

Roth’s piece had a number of internal contradictions that illustrate the origins of socialist regimes, even though she seems to have missed them.

The EU Blows Things out of Proportion

…again.  This time it’s over the US’ decision to implement all of the Helms-Burton Act, to stop waiving Title III of the Act.  Helms-Burton, you’ll recall, is a law passed in 1996 that pressured Cuba and its trading partners to not traffic in Cuban government-appropriated -stolen private property, property that was seized by that government over the course its power-grabbing in the days following Fidel Castro’s successful rebellion.

Title III created a private cause of action, allowing private citizens whose property had been confiscated by the Cuban government to sue those trafficking in that property for monetary compensation for the loss, plus court and attorney costs associated with the suit.  The Title also contained within it authority for the President to waive the Title for six-month periods.

Drug Pricing

Amazingly, there’s an actual debate going on over whether consumers should be allowed to see drug prices in drug advertising.

Stacie Dusetzina, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Associate Professor of Health Policy and the Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research, argued—in all seriousness—in a recent Wall Street Journal example of the debate (see the link) in favor of the following points:

  • disclosure of list prices may deter some people from seeking treatment
  • disclosing prices could backfire by creating an artificial sense of “value” due to a high price tag

Fueling the Housing “Crisis”

California’s Progressive-Democrats are at it again; although, this time they’re not active only in California.  Now they’re looking to

expand subsidies to middle-class families—some with six-figure incomes

under the pretense of “helping” folks afford housing in this manufactured crisis of housing.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed funding housing for families whose income normally wouldn’t qualify them for assistance programs. Last month, his administration set aside $200 million for middle-class families in a $750 million package meant to combat the state’s housing crisis.
DC Mayor Muriel E Bowser has proposed a $20 million workforce fund to help families earning up to $141,000.