Many people, including many highly trained economists, seem to think the economics of decarbonizing the U.S. economy are simple and straightforward. Reduce the use of fossil fuels for producing goods and services by imposing taxes equal to the estimated economic cost of the CO2 emissions generated by their production. Increase the production and use of power from wind and solar by subsidizing power from these sources.
Recently, three distinguished pundits took the stage at NRO to denounce The Donald for his penchant to sue people for libel (for presumably committing the cardinal sin of criticizing America’s Media Monster & Master), or even use the sedition laws to stifle debate.
On Feb. 26 Trump told supporters:
We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when the New York Times writes a hit piece that is a total disgrace or when the Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.… We’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.
The conventional wisdom is that the Securities and Exchange Commission is a good thing. The SEC, like much of government regulation, convinces people to be complacent. They trust that the SEC insulates them from unsavory characters, but it actually enables predators, by its very existence. In the eighty years since the SEC, the premium on integrity (cherished in a free society) has been and continues to be devalued, as gullible constituents assume the government has auditioned and validated investment advisers, stock brokers, stock offerings, and all the rest. You know the routine — all the phony shareholder elections and useless proxy statements, against a façade of corporate governance.
Three generations of investors have been screwed, and repeatedly. Still, it would be hard to convince liberals that we would be better off without the SEC, especially in the Internet Age when the private sector would provide real-time information to better enable competition, unhindered by government cronyism and favoritism, and thus would properly incentivize and reward the honest and competent purveyors of due diligence.
Few things require a more willing suspension of common sense than a single statistic pounded into the heads of the public by progressives and their media collaborators. Daily Signal columnist William Campenni gets right to the heart of the matter. “Call any journalist, pundit, anchor, strategist or lobbyist and ask: 1. How many illegal immigrants are in the United States? 2. What is your source for that number? Almost without exception he or she will answer: 1. 11 million. 2. The Pew Research Center,” he writes.
It was an ugly weekend for Donald Trump — his first in a primary election season that for Republicans has been somewhere between a surprise and an embarrassment. Not only did Ted Cruz win two of Saturday’s four primaries and caucuses, trouncing Trump in Kansas and Maine, but Trump barely beat Cruz in Louisiana and Kentucky. Trump consistently underperformed polls going into the contests.
There was not a great deal of polling for these elections, but here are the results as compared to the RealClearPolitics average of polls in each state, with each candidate’s numbers representing his percentage of the vote received:
Kansas (caucus): Cruz 48.2, Trump 23.3, Rubio 16.7, Kasich 10.7 (Cruz +25 over Trump).
Average of two recent polls: Trump +9, meaning Cruz beat the polls by 34 points.
Kentucky (caucus): Trump 35.9, Cruz 31.6, Rubio 16.4, Kasich 14.4 (Trump +4 over Cruz).
RCP only had one poll on this race: Trump +13 over Cruz meaning Cruz beat the poll by 9 points.
Now that Donald Trump’s got the inside track to the GOP nomination, it’s time to figure out how he’ll box out Hillary Clinton in the general election. I think he’ll make a play for some of Bernie Sander’s voters, who are just as sick of the Chamber of Commerce and crooked trade deals as Trump’s current supporters.
Clearly, Trump will stick with national pride, but I think the logical next step is for him to expand on his message of economic strength achieved through crushing enemies foreign and domestic. I think the play here is muscular centrism — he’s got to be the guy who’ll fight the hardest against the forces who’ve been screwing us over. So here’s my 10-point platform for Trump. Stop me if you can’t picture Trump saying one of these things.
1. America doesn’t win any more, thanks to stupid treaties our leaders have signed with much better negotiators from China to Mexico. These treaties are going to be shredded, and we’re going to negotiate new deals where we get treated fairly, like any other country.
In an age of lies, the truth is dangerous. When Twitter announced the creation of a “Trust and Safety Council” last month, every intelligent observer understood that censorship would be the result.
The purpose was obvious in Twitter’s choice for members of this Orwellian-named “council,” which includes many left-wing activist organizations, but not a single conservative or libertarian group. Most ominous was Twitter’s decision to ally itself with radical feminism by making Anita Sarkeesian a member of this advisory group. Sarkeesian’s non-profit group Feminist Frequency, formed in 2014, is a tax-exempt vehicle to promote the 32-year-old’s “gender theory” attacks on the videogame industry.
I spent much of last week in Montreal. It is not far from New York City. The drive is relatively easy and pleasant — a straight shot north without any traffic through the Hudson River Valley and the Adirondack Mountains. The drive only takes about six hours.
Crossing the Canadian border was simple enough. My car was the only one in line. The border guard subjected me to an interrogation that lasted all of two minutes. “Be safe,” he said gently as he handed my passport back to me.
Quebec looked like a winter wonderland, with picturesque frozen lakes and rivers dotting the landscape. Montreal, named after the triple-peaked mountain “mont royal” in the center of the island on the St. Lawrence River, was slippery and snowy, though its residents noted to me that “we have had a mild winter.”
Pentagon budget battles inevitably bring out the long knives. But in the age of sequestration absolute lunacy has taken over. Left-leaning and libertarian think tanks as well as pundits of various stripes have declared open season on our Navy’s fleet of aircraft carriers and the carrier strike group (CSG) concept, calling them outdated and obsolete in light of current threats.
Some politicians agree with them. These pols see the high cost of building and operating carriers as a pot of gold to be raided to pay for everything else they can think of, and they can think of a lot of ways to spend tax dollars. And it’s not just the carriers they want to defund. Many see themselves as the next Sun Tzu or Mahan so they frequently target the high priced heart of each service’s core capability, seeking to replace it with supposedly better and cheaper (albeit unproven) ways of warfighting. They do so at our nation’s peril.
In 1897, Mark Twain joked that reports of his death were exaggerated. The same should be said today of reports of the demise of aircraft carriers/carrier strike groups as effective warfighting platforms.
Donald Trump has promised a lot. His critics have, correctly in many instances, pointed out that he has been vague on how he will make America Great Again. But we can take a look at his general economic agenda and make a judgment on whether it can deliver the robust economic growth that he advertises. In particular, Trump maintains that we do not need to reform entitlement programs but that we can grow the economy sufficiently under his plan to pay for the current stream of obligations. Most economists estimate that the U.S. economy would need to grow at approximately 8% per year to meet this goal — something that no American economic expansion has come close to achieving in modern times.
The Trump economic plan essentially has three main components. First, encourage the repatriation of 2 trillion dollars that U.S. corporations have earned overseas but can’t bring back because of tax consequences. Second, reform the tax code. Third, get tough with our trading partners, particularly China, Mexico, and other countries that are “ripping us off.”