An Experiment in Progressivism

This one has the advantage of being live and current. The Progressive-Democratic Party has extended its control over the State of California.  The results accumulating from the several years of Progressive-Democratic dominance (now outright control) are these.  California has

  • the highest welfare numbers (a third of all Americans on welfare live in California)
  • the largest contingent of illegal immigrants
  • a burgeoning homeless population
  • onerous regulations on business and private property
  • mediocre public schools
  • high income taxes (the highest marginal rate is 13.3%) and sales taxes
  • a yawning gap between rich and poor

Putin Threatens

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking during his state-of-the-nation address Wednesday, warned that Russia will aim new hypersonic missiles at the US should it deploy new intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

Russia and its predecessor USSR have aimed weapons, including nuclear weapons—ICBMs, SLBMS, nuclear-armed bombers—at the US since they first acquired the weapons.  Does anyone really believe Putin doesn’t already have nuclear weapons aimed at the US today?  Is anyone interested in some beachfront property north of Santa Fe?

If Amazon Pulls Out

Progressive-Democrat strategist and pollster Doug Schoen is worried about new rumors that Amazon might pull out of its agreement to relocate a part of its HQ2 in New York City.  He’s hanging his hat on the commitment from Amazon to produce 25,000 jobs at an average salary of $150,000 per year.

It would be a “disaster for the city,” he wrote in the Fox News op-ed, for Amazon to pull out.

Burdened by a shrinking tax base, crumbling infrastructure, and a lack of good-paying middle-class jobs for the future, New York City needs innovators like Amazon.

Welfare Cages

Now Progressive-Democrats want to give cash payments, ostensibly without strings attached, directly to low income folks in addition to the many welfare payments they already receive.

The latest effort is more far-reaching and aims to move supplemental cash directly into the hands of low-income Americans.

Which they’ll lose were they to move up the economic ladder, thereby cynically trapping those Americans in the Progressive-Democrats’ welfare cage.

Increase Spending, Taxes?

Americans seem to favor that, according to a Fox News poll released last Thursday and discussed on Fox Business Online.

[T]here is broad support for increasing taxes on the wealthiest families. Voters support tax increases on families making over $10 million annually by a 46-point margin (70% favor-24% oppose), and support a hike on those making over $1 million by 36 points (65-29%).
There is less support for a broader tax increase: 44% favor raising rates on those with income over $250,000, and a small minority, 13%, approves of an increase on all Americans.

Arrogance of the Left

This is made blatantly, nakedly clear by New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio.  In his State of the City speech last week, he laid bare the premier goal of the Progressive-Democratic Party, even above doing away with ICE and with our borders generally.  He said—and he meant every word of it:

Here’s the truth. Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.

The Party of Expansionist, Acquisitive Government

That’s what we can see made plain in the incoming Congress’ House of Representatives.  Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, NJ) had this on her Progressive-Democratic Party’s plans:

There are dozens of measures…that have been languishing with Republicans at the helm for years, and I expect to see many of them finally come to the floor under Democratic leadership[.]

Plans like rolling back the just enacted tax cuts and preventing the individual income tax cuts from becoming permanent.  Because the Progressive-Democrats know more about how to spend our money than we do.

Tax Cuts Don’t Have Long-Term Benefits

That’s the claim of ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed.  It’s an accurate claim, too, when tax cuts are taken in isolation, as Furman took them throughout his piece.  That loneliness was emphasized by his closing remarks.

Going forward, policy makers should aim for a reformed tax system that is more stable, economically efficient, simple, and directly supportive of the middle class. Do this right, and the results could be higher economic growth and higher wages without the higher deficits. That’s a combination that’s proved elusive to date.

Another Schumer Shutdown?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) told NBC NewsMeet the Press that there would be no money for a border wall “in any form.”  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) has been saying much the same thing the last couple of weeks, but she doesn’t have the votes to block the money, and she doesn’t have the votes to become Speaker next month if she doesn’t say no this month.

Federal Redistributions of State Funds

In response to Robert Poole’s Wall Street Journal bit about making some aspects of our infrastructure more affordable, a couple of folks wrote Letters to the Editor.  And so I have my own response.

[A]sset recycling is not about finding more efficient ways to modernize and expand infrastructure. It’s about raising money for cash-starved treasuries….

and

The solution is to allow all states to retain the federal gas tax generated by each state.