Opportunity and self-respect are back.
The mainstream media and Democrat “Resistance” have attacked the Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax cut as a gift to “The Rich” and a bane to the middle class and “The Poor.” There is no reason to believe a resentful Democrat political party whose bread-and-butter lifeline is not the “bread-and-butter issues” that affect families but rather the perpetual incitement of class warfare and never-ending jealousy. For those Grinches and Scrooges, it is better to preach misery and envy, and to “Resist” than to jump-start the Obama-stagnated economy by participating in the biggest tax reform in thirty years. So, with only a bare voting majority in the upper legislative chamber prepared to advance tax relief, the tax cut had to comport with archaic Senate rules of “budget reconciliation” that limit its scope instead of enjoying the enhanced flexibility that would have come with bipartisan backing. Pelosi, Schumer, and the lot of them will be remembered at election time; we are getting the biggest tax reform package in a generation despite them. And, to boot, we advance an important step towards freedom to make our own medical choices, even as we expand towards further energy independence.
As a boy, I learned from the Torah not to covet what others have. As Rabbi Ben Zoma taught: “Who is wealthy? The person who is satisfied with his portion.” (Ethics of the Fathers 4:1) The lesson was taught to me in practical secular terms, too: “Stop being jealous of other people, and be grateful for what you have because you have so much: freedom. If you want more, don’t whine that others have more. Don’t expect others to give you their money. Don’t expect the Government to pay your way. Rather, if you want more, apply all your gifts, and work harder and smarter. Be persistent. Network. Apply to want ads. Knock on doors. Make calls. Send letters. Get more schooling and better training. This is a land of opportunity.”
People living off the Democrats’ welfare and food stamps “entitlements” are not the richest people on the block. Rather, they are servants beholden to the State, and their servitude all-too-often is transmitted generationally. No one is going to make hand-out recipients richer than the givers. Rich liberals inculcate their own children to avoid “entitlements.” For all their bleeding-heart “empathy,” they send their kids to the private schools that they would deny inner-city kids, and they teach their progeny: “Those government programs are for other people — not for any children of ours.”
The Choice Between Helping Americans with Tax Cuts or Increased Entitlements: No One Is “Entitled” to Live off Someone Else’s Hard Work, Risks and Struggles — and the World Owes No One a Living.
The very word “entitlement” contradicts one of my Mother’s earliest lessons to me: “Dov, the world does not owe you a living.” Words to live by.
I remembered Mom’s lesson. When I needed more money, I did not rely on the bleeding-heart redistributors of the day. Rather, I worked harder. I moonlighted by teaching extra on the side. When that proved inadequate, I risked capital and explored a brand-new technology, selling fax machines on the side. (Alas, I was too far ahead of my time: prospective customers did not know anyone else who also had such a machine, so they had no one to fax, and there was no one to fax them.) I had to try something else. So, at age 37, I went to law school. I worked hard, gave up family time at home, endured three years of liberals’ many subtle prejudices against Orthodox Jews, overcame prejudice to become Chief Articles Editor of law review, then clerked for a brilliant federal appeals court judge in the Kentucky heartland and went on to practice business law for more than a decade at major law firms. As a by-product of my risks and struggles, I paid plenty in taxes so that Government bureaucrats, amid their hourly coffee breaks, could redistribute my earnings to welfare and food-stamp recipients — without redistributing my risks and struggles, too.
“The Jealous” do not know the risks that “The Rich” and the Middle Class take and the sacrifices they make. The hours away from home and partly missing the children growing up. The strains on the marriage. The burdens and responsibilities borne by employers to meet a weekly payroll for employees whose families depend on those incomes. The knowledge that one screw-up can mean a personal world collapses overnight. For me, the moment that I reached the financial goal I had set for myself, I returned to my less lucrative first loves: being a rabbi and teaching. I never took a food stamp, never collected a welfare check.
Yes, I did borrow. I risked greatly and borrowed. At the worst nadir, I even went to a “payday” joint where I borrowed cash at insane interest against a forthcoming salary check. It was damn hard, sometimes damn scary. But Mom had taught me that the world does not owe me a living. And the Torah had taught me not to be jealous of others, not to covet, and to find joy in my portion. So, damn Grinch Pelosi and Scrooge Schumer. Let those richer than I get their break in the tax bill — because those of us below “The One Percent” are getting ours, too.
This Tax Cut Will Put Money into Middle-Class Workers’ Pockets Now, Will Spur Job Growth and Will Impact Salary Growth a Year from Now, Will Increase Retirement Savings and 401(k) Plans — and It Will Enhance the Other American Dream: Showing Children What It Looks Like When Parents Wake up Every Morning to Go to Work and Support Their Families.
So what if “The Rich” are getting a cut from 39.7% to 37%? First of all, for those who have not noticed, “The Rich” now are the Democrats. George Soros. George Clooney. Jane Fonda. Meryl Streep. Lisa Bloom. Chelsea Handler. Jimmy Kimmel. Stephen Colbert. Bernie Sanders and all his houses. The denizens of high-priced Manhattan and San Francisco, high-salaried New York and California, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Broadway. “The Rich” are Hillary donors — that is why she spent so much time campaigning in New York and California, running up a few extra million votes pointlessly, while Donald Trump minimized his spending on the coasts and campaigned in Middle America. It is amazing that so few have noticed that billionaires like the Mark Zuckerbergs and the Jeff Bezoses and Bill Gateses and Warren Buffetts all are Obama Democrats. “The Rich” Hollywood glitterati are liberal Democrats. The Clintons are “The Rich.” (Did you ever get $500,000 for a speech in Putinland in return for giving away American uranium? And isn’t it great that she would get $125,000 to speak to millionaire Democrat Wall Street tycoons covertly in a back room for fifteen minutes even though so few regular people attended her speeches when Hillary presented herself to the public for free?) The Obamas are “The Rich.” Nancy Pelosi as a person may not be worthy, but her net worth has been placed at $120 million. Even a dope like Maxine Waters now boasts a net worth of at least two million and maybe ten times that. Yet why care that they are getting a tax cut? So what? We are getting ours, too.
Corporate taxes now are being slashed by two-fifths: from 35 percent to 21 percent. Pelosi and Schumer want you and me to be jealous and rage with class envy that corporations will keep more of their money from the Government’s clutches. However, we all benefit from those tax cuts. More corporate cash retained will empower companies to raise salaries, to expand benefits, to create new jobs. How’s that for a change? It always happens after a major tax cut. When they invest in more R&D, those who do their researching and developing will get jobs with good pay. The economy will expand. Then, as more people enter the employment rolls from the sidelines, they themselves will go off “entitlements.” It is a cycle. Instead of Government paying out money for food stamps and welfare, those former recipients will turn around and now pay into the Government. This is what we saw during the boom after the 1986 Reagan cuts thirty years ago.
More money from more jobs and increased salaries will induce the employed to buy more goods: coffee makers, microwave ovens, shoes, blouses, cars, flowers, laptops, tchotchkes. People who have delayed purchasing certain services will feel more secure about spending for them. That will employ more people offering those products and services. With more orders, service providers will spend on parts they need to provide their services. Providers of lumber, ore, wheat — the whole “Settlers of Catan” economy — will need to produce more, hire more people to meet increased demand. Those people, in turn, will include those who stop receiving Government payments and instead themselves begin paying taxes into the system. This is what happens when corporations get a whopping tax cut. We all benefit. And Americans no longer will pay a punishment for not opting into Obamacare’s commands.
The Democrats feed off jealousy and class resentment. That is their natural constituency: “The Rich” — and “The Jealous” whom they manipulate. Everyone but the contented “basketful of deplorables” who go about our lives, quietly contributing to the common weal. The Pelosi-Schumers, the Obama-Clintons, the Sanders-Warrens feed class envy, race envy, religion envy, ethnicity envy, gender envy. Those add up to lots of votes (just not enough). The grand Democrat coalition of “The Rich” and “The Jealous.” But jealousy and resentfulness do not replace a solid paycheck, the pride that comes with earning from an honorable day’s effort, and the inestimable added bonus: showing your children at home that the ticket to success in America is having a Dad who lives at home, who wakes up every morning even when he is tired and is sniffling with a light cold, and who says his prayers and then goes to work to produce, to serve, and to earn honest income to support a family… rather than not being there at all, or sitting on the couch waiting for a check or electronic deposit from the Government on the first of the month. And nowadays seeing a Mom alongside Dad, co-equal in bearing the household’s responsibilities, whether by working outside full-time for an additional paycheck, or honorably attending to the family’s compelling needs in the home — or both.
The new tax cuts profoundly will help the millions of Americans who do not itemize on Schedule A, as their standard deduction doubles to $24,000 for a married couple and $12,000 for singles. Child care credits will increase. For the itemizers, the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners mostly will be retained. Medical deductions will continue. Californians and New Yorkers will feel a pinch in losing some of their deductions for state and local taxes, but it really is unfair for the few high-tax states to expect economically modest states to subsidize their spending. Moreover, if the Democrats were not so busy “resisting” and fanning jealousies, they could have negotiated an even better break on state and local taxes in return for their votes because, with bipartisan cooperation, the legislation would not have been circumscribed by “budget reconciliation” limitations. Ultimately, although the $1.5 trillion tax cut is imperfect — as all legislative compromises must be in a democracy — it will motivate many unemployed Americans to go back to work and will improve the take-home income of those already working hard but who have not seen meaningful pay raises through a decade of Obama-Biden-Kerry-Pelosi-Schumer-Clinton “concern” and “caring.” And on top of all that, a booming economy will grow market-index-linked retirement pensions and 401(k) plans.
The Reagan Tax Cuts Defied Dire Predictions from the Media and Liberal Professors, Ushering in an Era of Prosperity — and These Tax Cuts Likewise Will Benefit All Americans.
There indeed are those who do receive a well-deserved and legitimately entitled government paycheck every month, and they absolutely are well entitled to it: Seniors on Social Security, who paid for that retirement-insurance coverage all their working days. Likewise, the disabled and otherwise truly incapable of working; we are a benevolent and generous society who share a social contract, and the American spirit compassionately extends a helping hand to those who truly need. Indeed, if we look past the vile media distortions and Democrats’ scare tactics that depict Paul Ryans pushing wheelchair-bound mothers over cliffs, we find that Republicans do not advocate cutting back on Social Security from those now receiving it. Rather, the wise focus turns to delaying retirement age for younger Americans who now have much longer life expectancies than when the Social Security program first was launched nearly a century ago. It is not unkind to tell a 40-year-old to expect to retire at age 68 or 69 instead of age 66. Indeed, so many older people of the “Baby Boom” post-WWII generation already work longer years.
One looks thirty years back to the last time we Americans tried a massive tax cut. In Reagan’s time, the media and Democrats portrayed him as cruel and favoring the wealthy. However, history’s hindsight has judged kindly. Those tax cuts did wonders. By allowing corporations to retain more, the tax cuts empowered employers to create more jobs, expand services and products, and increase wages. More circulated throughout the economy, and everyone benefited. People suddenly could afford to buy homes, energizing the home-building industry. Home prices rose accordingly, fed by the fundamentals of supply and demand. Markets boomed. Inner-city downtown stores, which would close at 5:00 p.m., started staying open later as more customers came shopping longer hours — and the stores consequently hired more workers. Those newly employed now also could experience the pride of work, income earned, and could pay into the system instead of drawing “entitlements” from the system. The economy cycled and boomed.
At the time of the Republicans’ Reagan tax cuts, the same leftist mainstream media and university professors predicted the same doom as they do now. They fomented the same jealousies against “The Rich” and resentment as they do now. Yet history now judges Reagan positively, even as it regards Jimmy Carter, the fool who immediately preceded him, as sub-mediocrity. Under Carter, the Soviets expanded throughout the world, American interest rates rose to 19%, the economy retrenched, and Iran took our diplomats hostage. After Reagan supplanted that mediocrity, the Soviets’ entire system started crashing, with the Berlin Wall ultimately collapsing. The American economy rebounded to become powerful and healthy. Prosperity returned. And so did the hostages held in Iran.
Americans need not jealously glare into others’ paychecks, but celebrate our own. The Middle Class will discover the media’s lies first-hand every payday. Despite the eternal 24-7 leftist media campaign to dampen public support for this generous measure that returns our money back to us, and notwithstanding the Democrats’ “resistance” against the biggest tax break in thirty years, Americans now will see larger paychecks, improved checking reserves, and greater retirement-account balances.
Happy Chanukah. Merry Christmas. And blessed New Year.