Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lindsey Graham's Finest Moment

I have always considered Lindsey Graham to be a decent human being and a hard working Senator, though I don't often find myself agreeing with him.  That said, I am proud to say his 11th hour attempt to thwart disaster in healthcare is worthy of greatness.  I have almost no confidence in the Senate's ability to pass something of quality, but at least Mr. Graham and Dr. Cassidy are trying. 

Watch here as Mr. Graham and Dr. Cassidy address being attacked by comedian Jimmy Kimmel: 

For a full discussion of why the states, not the federal government, ought to be the ones providing the safety net in healthcare, please read "The Thelma and Louise Healthcare Bill".  Then send it to your Senator. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It's Time for Special Prosecutor Rudy Giuliani!

Now that we know for certain that Donald Trump was right about being wiretapped in Trump Tower before the election, it's high time for a special prosecutor to look into possible abuses by Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, James Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan, Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes and anyone else who may have had a hand in what is increasingly looking like Watergate on stilts.

This writer said the following at the start: 
After Donald Trump tweeted that Barack Obama had his ""wires tapped"", Barack Obama's response DID NOT DENY that Trump's wires had been tapped, only that he hadn't ordered it! 
A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.                                                       Barack Obama's response to Trump's accusation of "wire tapping" 
Translation:  It wasn't me who wiretapped you; it was Loretta Lynch!  You know, the grandmother who met on the tarmac with Bill Clinton to discuss their grandchildren in the midst of a DOJ/FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton? 
Of course, there is no need to ever perform a wiretap in the modern world, because all communications are recorded by the NSA.  Unmasking and leaking the names of U.S. citizens, then, becomes the issue and the crime.

Now we know it's all true.  Trump was right.  The entire Obama regime has been attempting a cover-up of what looks like extremely high crimes.  Many of them issued false denials under oath.  You don't do that unless you are covering-up something even worse.

The question is: what was the justification? Was there a legitimate reason? Was all this set in motion by a rigged dossier? Was that the purpose of the dossier? Who funded the dossier? Someone needs to get to the bottom of this. 

Just as Jeff Sessions recused himself over the Russia investigation he should probably do so now over "Wiregate". That would kick it to a special prosecutor.  I nominate Rudy Giuliani!       

Prediction: As the drumbeat for a special prosecutor builds, Donald Trump will make a deal with the party of Chuck and Nancy: wind-up Mueller's investigation, leave me and my pals untouched, let me have a few votes for this or that, and I'll refrain from putting Barack Obama and his entire cabinet and IC behind bars.  

Art of the deal, bitches.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Trump's Stock Market?

This is truly an historic stock market.  Since November 8th, 10 months ago, the broad market has risen about 20%.  But why?

Analysts will say we are in an unusual time of low interest rates, cheap oil, relative peace, and technological advancement.  True enough.  But those were all true before November 8th.

To be clear, we had already been in a multi-year bull market leading up to the election.  But instead of continuing on the same slope, or changing direction, stocks have been rising at an even higher rate under Donald Trump.  No serious person can say this change in slope has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

But there is a paradox in all this:  If stocks jumped immediately after the election of Donald Trump, why are they continuing to rise on their new trajectory now that his congressional agenda has hopelessly stalled?  You'd think the market would be savvy enough to see that Donald Trump has almost no congressional allies on either side of the aisle and will not be able to accomplish anything of significance through normal congressional order.

Apparently, the market doesn't care.

To the naked eye, and to the founders, ours is a government of co-equal branches that make, enforce, and interpret laws.  The economy is impacted to the extent those laws interfere with or facilitate commerce.  

But under a microscope it really doesn't work that way anymore.  Today it is regulations, executive orders, and Fed policy more than laws that run the economy.  Congress, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are mostly just noisy bystanders.  Even the judicial branch is powerless because they have allowed this overreach for decades.

As government has assumed vast powers over every aspect of life in the U.S., more and more of that power has ended-up with one branch... the executive.

Donald Trump and his appointees have been quietly and effectively rolling back harmful regulations and executive orders.  During the campaign Trump promised to cut two regulations for every new one, and he is keeping that promise.  The markets understand the Trump agenda doesn't need Congress.

Even taxes, which are specifically enumerated to Congress under the Constitution,  are largely under the power of the executive.  

To the naked eye, and to most economists, it is marginal tax rates that have the most economic impact.  Economists endlessly discuss how best to structure a "progressive" and "fair" tax system. How much should we tax the rich, and how much should we tax the middle class, etc?  These are actually not economic questions at all in the long run.  They are political.

Under a microscope, or in this case more accurately panning out, it is total government spending that represents the true tax on a country.  If we borrow or create new money to help pay for that spending it still represents a tax, albeit a delayed one.  Total government spending and what value is obtained for those dollars has true economic impact, not what tax rate is collected from any one individual or class of individuals.

Modern Presidents have vast power over quite a bit of government spending and what value is obtained for each dollar.  The markets understand that Donald Trump is and has always been a rather frugal operator.  They expect him to do the same as President.

Markets move in both directions on countless variables, but as long as everything stays the same (wink, wink), expect the Trump market to continue to outperform.  

We're not supposed to be a one branch economy, but that's what we've become.