Author Archives: R.D. Walker

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”

That may well be true but a scatterbrained inconsistency is just flat-out inane.

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Who’s my buddy?

I am a Lutheran Christian. With whom do I share more affinity? Do I have a more natural relationship with a fellow Lutheran from, say, Finland or an American radical Muslim in Dearborn?

Do I have more cause to support a business partner in Germany or support a leftist environmental activist in California who wants to destroy my entire industry?

Do I share more affinity with a like minded Brexit conservative in Leeds in Britain or with an Antifa vandal in Portland?

Should I have a closer relationship with my conservative Swiss brother-in-law or with an American campus radical feminist transgender activist?

I keep hearing that nationalism is the principle that my fellow Americans are like an extended family and that I should place them above others. America first and all of that. I often find doing that to be impossible.

Maybe I am a globalist, huh?



Fuel to the fire?

If Trump’s purpose in firing Comey was to make his Russia issues go away, I don’t think it will work. I suspect it will fuel conspiracy theories.

President Donald Trump weighed firing his FBI director for more than a week. When he finally pulled the trigger Tuesday afternoon, he didn’t call James Comey. He sent his longtime private security guard to deliver the termination letter in a manila folder to FBI headquarters.

He had grown enraged by the Russia investigation, two advisers said, frustrated by his inability to control the mushrooming narrative around Russia. He repeatedly asked aides why the Russia investigation wouldn’t disappear and demanded they speak out for him. He would sometimes scream at television clips about the probe, one adviser said.

Trump’s firing of the high-profile FBI director on the 110th day since taking office marked another sudden turn for an administration that has fired its acting attorney general, national security adviser and now its FBI director, who Trump had praised until recent weeks and even blew a kiss to during a January appearance.

This is not even close to the constitutional crisis that was Saturday Night Massacre but it is instructional to remember history.

There is a lot of murmuring going on.

“The timing of this firing was very troubling,” said Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican.

More here.


“No Evidence”

Did Mr. Trump collude with the Russians? The president tells us there is “no evidence” that he did.


Same travel ban issued by HRC would be constitutional

If Hillary Clinton would have issued the travel ban, it would have been legal according to an ACLU lawyer. In other words, the only problem with Trump’s order is Trump. This is what passes for legal thinking among the left.

ACLU Lawyer Omar Jadwat, arguing against President Trump’s travel ban before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, admitted that the same exact travel ban “could be” constitutional if it were enacted by Hillary Clinton.

Jadwat argued that Trump’s campaign animus motivated the order, making it illegitimate. This claim was challenged by the Fourth Circuit’s Judge Paul Niemeyer.

“If a different candidate had won the election and then issued this order, I gather you wouldn’t have any problem with that?” Niemeyer asked.

Jadwat dodged on directly answering the question at first, but Niemeyer persisted, asking the question again.

Jadwat again tried to avoid the question, asking for clarification on the hypothetical, but Niemeyer once again demanded an answer.

“We have a candidate who won the presidency, some candidate other than President Trump won the presidency and then chose to issue this particular order, with whatever counsel he took,” Niemeyer said. “Do I understand that just in that circumstance, the executive order should be honored?”

“Yes, your honor, I think in that case, it could be constitutional,” Jadwat admitted.

Intellectual consistency is a lost art.

More here.


Pray we are to the right of T-RMAX

Remember the Laffer Curve?

The Laffer Curve is based on a sound principle regarding the elasticity of tax rate vs tax revenue.  On the curve above, the Y axis represents tax revenue (R) and the X axis is the tax rate (T).

We can all agree that if the tax rate is zero, tax revenue will be zero.  What may not be immediately obvious is that if the tax rate is 100 percent, tax revenue will also be zero.  After all, who would earn income just to turn it all over to the government? No one.  Thus the curve.

In the example above, T-RMAX represents the tax rate in which the maximum amount of tax revenue (R-MAX) will be collected.  If you either raise or lower the tax rate from that point, tax revenue will fall.  This is really common sense.

Here is where it gets interesting.  If the tax rate is anywhere to the right of T-RMAX and you lower the tax rate, tax revenues will actually increase.  You read that right: Lowering taxes, in this circumstance, would increase tax revenues… at least until you arrive back at T-RMAX

The thing is, it is a very complicated problem to discover the actual shape of the laffer curve or where current tax rates place you. If it looks like the blue line below, for example, we don’t have much chance of increasing revenues by decreasing rates.

Team Trump says the current tax rate is definitely to the right of T-RMAX and his tax reductions will “pay for themselves” in the form of increases in tax revenues.

Unfortunately, virtually every independent economist disagrees, however, and says that the US is currently to the left of T-RMAX and a decrease in tax rates will result in a decrease in tax revenue.

A decrease in tax revenue is a problem since the US is already running a budget deficit and a huge national debt. With fewer tax revenues and Trump’s plans for increased spending, the government would need to take on even more debt in the form of capital investment to pay the bills.

This would require foreign investments in T-Bills and similar instruments increasing the capital account surplus. As we have discussed elsewhere, an increase in the capital account surplus will absolutely, positively increase trade deficits.

Trump has indicated, however, that he is willing to fight trade deficits with trade protectionism. This, then, represents contradictory policy in which desperately needed foreign investment is curtailed even as debts increase. The result of this sad situation is 100 percent predictable… It will result in increased interest rates, increased inflation, a shortage of investable funds and increased unemployment. In other words, stagflation.

If taxes are to be radically cut, we should all hope and pray that Trump, and not economists, is correct and we currently live to right of T-RMAX. Otherwise, we are really asking for trouble.


How to get socialized medicine in the United States

Obamacare was just terrible legislation and this site has scores of posts explaining why. It did have a certain logic to it, however.

People wanted to be able to purchase insurance that would cover their health care even if they were already sick. Being sick when you buy insurance is to have a “preexisting condition”.

The problem is, that doesn’t work. It’s like calling up State Farm after your house burns down, buying a coverage plan for $150 and expecting them to send you a check for $250,000. That obviously isn’t a business plan that State Farm can support.

So the plan was to eliminate preexisting conditions by eliminating the condition of preexistence. If everybody had insurance from birth, no health condition would preexist insurance.

Of course that was never going to happen and we all knew it. It was especially obvious that it wasn’t going to happen with the toothless individual mandate. In order of the individual mandate to work, it had to make economic sense to buy insurance.

That was never the case for millions of healthy young people… so they didn’t buy in. The effect was as expected: Millions of sick people with preexisting conditions bought in. The healthy young people needed to pay the bills tended to opt out. Thus began the actuarial death spiral.

What is the ‘solution’ offered up by Trump and the GOP? Their so-called solution is to maintain coverage for preexisting conditions but end the individual mandate. If Obamacare’s actuarial death fire is a smoldering fire, the Trump/GOP plan is to throw gasoline on it.

Even fewer healthy people will buy in but sick people will still be able to pay a dollar and get a hundred dollars in benefit. That will destroy the health care insurance industry.

Of course the insurance companies aren’t going to go along with that. They will stop offering health insurance at all. Better to go out of business and make $0.00 than it is to stay in business and lose billions. So what happens when almost nobody can either find or afford health insurance. We all know the answer to that. Government will start paying the bills.

Socialized Medicine: Brought to you through the combined efforts of Barack Obama and Donald Trump.


Trump’s travel ban to be tested

It goes to appeal today.

President Trump’s revision of his controversial executive order imposing a travel and refugee ban on certain countries will get an important legal test on Monday, when a federal appeals court in Virginia weighs whether the administration overstepped its authority.

At issue is whether the ban violates the Religion Clause of the First Amendment, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and 14th Amendments, and the ban on nationality discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visas contained in a 65-year-old congressional law.

The case will be a major test of presidential power, especially in the area of immigration.

I have a couple of questions. Executive Order 13769, titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, was issued by President Trump on January 27, 2017. It suspended entry from certain countries for 90 days so that new vetting procedures could be put in place.

January 27 was 101 days ago. That means had the original order not been blocked, it would have expired by now. Presumably, the new vetting procedures should have been in place 11 days ago.

If the vetting procedures were implemented as planned, why isn’t the status of the executive orders moot at this point? If the new vetting procedures are not in place, why aren’t they? The whole point was that they would be in place after 90 days.

I don’t know. Do you ever get the feeling you are just watching Kabuki Theater?


Populist nationalism sees a crushing defeat in France

Macron wins French presidency by huge margin.

Emmanuel Macron was elected French president on Sunday with a business-friendly vision of European integration, defeating Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who threatened to take France out of the European Union.

The centrist’s emphatic victory, which also smashed the dominance of France’s mainstream parties, will bring huge relief to European allies who had feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain’s vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president.

With virtually all votes counted, Macron had topped 66 percent against just under 34 percent for Le Pen – a gap wider than the 20 or so percentage points that pre-election surveys had suggested.

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Ignorant tit for tat and everybody suffers

Housing prices go up, dairy isn’t improved, energy costs more in Canada and coal jobs are lost. Tell me how this makes America great again.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday he would considering banning thermal coal shipments in response to the U.S. imposing a 20 percent tariff on lumber imports from Canada.

Trudeau said in a letter to British Columbia Premier Christy Clark that his officials were seriously considering the federal ban on U.S. thermal coal shipments through the province’s ports.

“The Government of Canada is considering this request carefully and seriously. I have asked federal trade officials to further examine the request to inform our government’s next steps,” Trudeau said in the letter, Bloomberg reported. “We disagree strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty on Canadian softwood lumber products.”

Meanwhile, back at the jobsite.

U.S. home builders are among the biggest customers for Canadian lumber, which is a major component in framing single-family homes. Canadian imports represent about 28% of all softwood lumber purchased in the U.S., according to an analysis by the National Association of Home Builders, a trade group.

Based on analysis last year, a builder spends an average of $15,413 for the softwood lumber in a single-family home, or about 7% of the total construction cost of a home. Lumber cost increases so far this year have added an estimated $3,000 to the cost of building a typical home, according to the home builders’ association.

All of this is 100 percent predictable, 100 percent pointless and 100 percent stupid. This is nothing less than entry level, junior grade Hugo Chavizsm. Keep it up to the logical end and it will be very, very ugly.

Remember The Wonderful Loaf from last week? Nowhere in the lovely story were government bureaucrats deciding the price, quantity and type of bread. If they were, the loaf would not have been wonderful. It would have been expensive, scarce and unappetizing.


America’s Choice for Health Care

As the Senate takes up health care reform, take a moment to recall that we live in a world of scarce resources and unlimited demand. That means we must face trade-offs. Here is the list of what we can accomplish…

1) We can provide every American with low cost or free health care rather than health care that is very costly to individuals.

2) We can have health care that is available and does not involve rationing and long waits.

3) We can have quality, world class health care rather than cheap and low quality service.

You cannot achieve all three. Pick two.


How to make Minnesota as healthy as Somolia

It’s easy. Just start believing the anti-vaxx loons.

The young mother started getting advice early on from friends in the close-knit Somali immigrant community here. Don’t let your children get the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella — it causes autism, they said.

Suaado Salah listened. And this spring, her 3-year-old boy and 18-month-old girl contracted measles in Minnesota’s largest outbreak of the highly infectious and potentially deadly disease in nearly three decades. Her daughter, who had a rash, high fever and a cough, was hospitalized for four nights and needed intravenous fluids and oxygen.

“I thought: ‘I’m in America. I thought I’m in a safe place and my kids will never get sick in that disease,’ ” said Salah, 26, who has lived in Minnesota for more than a decade. Growing up in Somalia, she’d had measles as a child. A sister died of the disease at age 3.

Salah no longer believes that the MMR vaccine triggers autism, a discredited theory that spread rapidly through the local Somali community, fanned by meetings organized by anti-vaccine groups. The advocates repeatedly invited Andrew Wakefield, the founder of the modern anti-vaccine movement, to talk to worried parents.

Immunization rates plummeted and, last month, the first cases of measles appeared. Soon, there was a full-blown outbreak, one of the starkest consequences of an intensifying anti-vaccine movement in the United States and around the world that has gained traction in part by targeting specific communities.

More here.


“Am I doing OK? I’m president. Hey, I’m president.”

The president is celebrating.

Donald Trump upended his schedule to make sure he was still in Washington to savor his biggest legislative win yet as president, watching from the White House dining room as all the cable networks carried Thursday’s health care vote live.

The House passage of a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare marked more than a step toward fulfilling Trump’s campaign promise to unravel his predecessor’s signature legislative achievement. It let him be the President Trump that Candidate Trump had promised — a dealmaker who could corral a rambunctious Congress for his agenda.

“How am I doing? Am I doing OK? I’m president. Hey, I’m president,” Trump said in a Rose Garden victory lap that was unusually elaborate for a bill still so far from becoming law. “Can you believe it?”

Meanwhile, back on Capitol Hill….

Senate won’t vote on House-passed healthcare bill

Senate Republicans said Thursday they won’t vote on the House-passed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, but will write their own legislation instead.

A Senate proposal is now being developed by a 12-member working group. It will attempt to incorporate elements of the House bill, senators said, but will not take up the House bill as a starting point and change it through the amendment process.

“The safest thing to say is there will be a Senate bill, but it will look at what the House has done and see how much of that we can incorporate in a product that works for us in reconciliation,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

“We are going to draft a Senate bill,” added Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. “That is what I’ve been told.”


Humanity’s Greatest Achievement

It happens spontaneously.

This absolutely, positively required viewing. There will be a test. 🙂

Written by Russ Roberts, the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.


They had to pass it so they could find out what is in it.

I literally have no idea what is in this. Neither do most of those who voted for and against it.

House Republicans on Thursday narrowly approved a sweeping health care bill aimed at fulfilling their campaign promise to upend ObamaCare, after bringing out the legislative defibrillators to resuscitate a package that had flatlined on the floor not six weeks earlier.

The revised American Health Care Act passed on a 217-213 vote. It heads next to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain fate.

The Wall Street Journal points out that there may be a poison pill in here that will get you even if you have employer provided insurance.

The ACA prevents employer plans from putting annual limits on the amount of care they will cover, and it bars lifetime limits on the 10 essential benefits. But in 2011, the Obama administration issued guidance stating that employers aren’t bound by the benefits mandated by their state and can pick from another state’s list of required benefits. That guidance was mostly meaningless because the ACA established a national set of essential benefits.

Under the House bill, large employers could choose the benefit requirements from any state—including those that are allowed to lower their benchmarks under a waiver, health analysts said. By choosing a waiver state, employers looking to lower their costs could impose lifetime limits and eliminate the out-of-pocket cost cap from their plans under the GOP legislation…

“It’s huge,” said Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama. “They’re creating a backdoor way to gut employer plans, too.”…

One trade group representing employers said the amendment’s effects on people with employer-sponsored health coverage would be minimal. Most large employers didn’t impose annual or lifetime limits before the ACA was implemented, according to James Gelfand, senior vice president of health policy at the Erisa Industry Committee.


Power always and everywhere attempts to divide and conquer

In 1922, Ludwig von Mises’ book Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis was published. The following is on pages 303 and 304.

The proletarians were not a special group within the framework of modern society whose attitude is unequivocally determined by their class position. Individuals are brought together for common political action by the socialist ideology; the unity of the proletariat comes, not from its class position, but from the ideology of the class-war. As a class the proletariat does not exist before Socialism: the socialist idea first created it by combining certain individuals to attain a certain political end. There is nothing in Socialism which makes it especially appropriate to forwarding the real interests of the proletarian classes.

In principle class ideology is no different from national ideology. In fact there is no contrast between the interests of particular nations and races. It is national ideology which first creates the belief in special interests and turns nations into special groups which fight each other. Nationalist ideology divides society vertically; the socialist ideology divides society horizontally. In this sense the two are mutually exclusive. Sometimes the one has the upper hand, sometimes the other. In Germany in 1914 the nationalist ideology shouldered the socialist ideology into the background—and suddenly there was a nationalist united front. In 1918 the socialist triumphed over the nationalist.

Misis is saying that Karl Marx invented the proletariat. He created it as a group in order to define an otherwise non-existent conflict. The proletariat exists as a concept to drive Marxist theory. Without the proletariat, there is no conflict between labor and capital and, without that conflict, there is no Marxism.

From here it gets interesting. In the second paragraph quoted, Misis compares socialism to nationalism. He says: “Nationalist ideology divides society vertically; the socialist ideology divides society horizontally.” They both, however, divide.

His point here is that nationalism is, like Marxism, a means of dividing in order to create conflict between special interests. He is, in this sense, as critical of nationalism as he is of socialism. They are driven from the same cynical manipulation of groups of people.

What is the alternative to conflict? Frédéric Bastiat described free people trading cooperatively as being characterized by a “harmony of interests.” He saw this cooperation and harmony of interests to be the driver of civilization and an indescribably beautiful thing. So do I. In fact, I hold it in awe.

Every morning in my podunk town in Iowa, fresh bread, fresh milk and fresh doughnuts are delivered to the local Casey’s General Store. They do it every day and never miss a day. All across America, before dawn, bakers are making bread and it is sent out in trucks to a million locations in every corner of the nation. Gasoline is delivered, ATMs are filled with cash, cement mixers head out, coffee shops receive shipments, credit card transactions occur, new cars are transported, steel gets delivered, taxi drivers head out and on and on and on. The whole list of the economic transactions occurring in any given moment would fill a library.

Literally tens of billions of economic decisions and transactions occur every day in America. A flow chart plotting this reality would crash the biggest mainframe computer devised by man. Millions of transactions and decisions are made every minute of every day. Some are based on logic and programming, some are based on nothing more than human whim and emotion: Do I want a doughnut this morning or just coffee? There is no centralized control structure dictating how each of us should behave. Localized interactions between individual and group entities lead to the emergence of “intelligent” global behavior that is incomprehensible to individuals.

This is the engine of civilization and none of it is defined by an artificially concocted conflict between capital and labor. Nor is it defined by the equally cockamamy alt-right idea that history is driven by racial or national struggle. History is driven by human cooperation and harmony, not conflict. Conflict is not the engine of history, it is a brake on history.

That’s not to say there isn’t a struggle. There is a struggle that has dogged mankind through the ages. That is the struggle between power and liberty. Liberty is the engine of civilization that has created the wonders and comforts of the modern world. Power is liberty’s eternal enemy. Liberty is the source of human faith, virtue, the arts and sciences and economic prosperity. Power is the enemy of these wonders.

Always and everywhere, those in power attempt to divide and destroy the harmony of interests between individuals in order to bolster their power. Whether we are talking about the identity politics of the left or the economic nationalism of the right, the effect is the same. Those who seek power undermine the spontaneous organization of humanity. They sabotage mutually beneficial cooperation. They erect barriers to trade and commerce. They undermine the liberty based workings of civilization.

Don’t fall for the seduction of the power mongers. Embrace liberty.


Venezuela heading for a Soviet style collapse?

Some are saying it is.

Venezuela is not the first developed country to put itself on track to fall into a catastrophic economic crisis. But it is in the relatively unusual situation of having done so while in possession of enormous oil assets. There aren’t many precedents to help understand how this could have happened and what is likely to happen next.

There is, however, at least one — the Soviet Union’s similar devastation in the late 1980s. Its fate may be instructive for Venezuela — which is not to suggest Venezuelans, least of all the regime of Nicolás Maduro, will like what it portends.

Frankly, I don’t think it is going to happen. It’s going to collapse, but it is way too late for it to have a relatively peaceful collapse like that of the Soviet Union. No, it will be far uglier than that.

Hey. Where are Danny Glover and Sean Penn to tell us what an economic miracle was Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution and how much America could learn from it? They have been conspicuously silent on the miracle lately.


Trump to make it easier for churches to be political

The endless parade of orders from the executive continues.

President Trump is set to sign an executive order Thursday to make it easier to for churches and other religious groups to participate in politics without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.

Trump plans to sign an order in the morning that attempts to overcome a provision in the federal tax code prohibiting religious organizations from directly opposing or endorsing political candidates. This prohibition is known as the “Johnson amendment,” because it was proposed by then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson (D-Texas) in the 1950s.

Easing restrictions on church political activity has been a longtime priority for Trump, social conservatives and a number of congressional Republicans. They argue the Johnson amendment stifles churches’ First Amendment rights.

I agree with that argument.

That said, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. There are two kingdoms and, in my opinion, it is best to render unto them separately. Church folks would do well to remember, when churches get into politics, politics gets into churches.

More here.


Stuff you didn’t know about Barack Obama

This stuff didn’t become public in 2008. The conspiracy of silence was nearly complete.

The sex secrets of the young Barack Obama have been revealed in an authoritative new biography of the ex-president.

Obama slept with his girlfriend Genevieve Cook on their first date, before she wrote him a poem about their ‘f***ing’ and called their sex ‘passionate’, the book about the former president reveals.

They also did cocaine together – and after they split she slept with his best friend.

Obama also considered a gay relationship while at college, twice proposed to another white girlfriend, and cheated on Michelle with his ex during the first year of their relationship.

His past is revealed in the 1,078-page biography Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, to be published on May 9.

Obama, a new Columbia graduate who was working for a firm that prepared financial reports at the time, made dinner for Cook at his apartment in Manhattan two weeks after meeting her at a New Year’s Eve party and handing her his phone number.

My favorite part was where he dumped his white fiance because dating a white woman would be political career limiting. Nice guy.

Read more.


“Thousands of emails…”

That’s the number of Hillary Clinton’s emails found on the personal computer of an easily blackmailed man with a compulsion to share private stuff with complete strangers on the Internet. Some of the emails, by the way, were classified.

The FBI told a federal court it needed a search warrant to look at thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails on the laptop of former US congressman Anthony Weiner because they had the potential to cause “grave damage to national security” if disclosed, according to court documents made public on Tuesday.

The wording was contained in a redacted search warrant and other court papers that were previously under seal in the investigation of an online relationship between Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and a teenage girl in North Carolina. The papers offered no new revelations about Clinton’s emails or the scope of a case that factored into the presidential election.

More here.


Constitutional Question

Here is the First Amendment of the Constitution…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

Can the president issue an executive order making criticism of the government illegal? After all, the Constitution doesn’t say the president can’t do it. It only says Congress can’t.

So. Can he?

Of course not. Even when the president issues executive orders, he is doing so based on laws issued by Congress. If Congress can’t pass a law, there is no basis from which the president can issue an order.

This explains the role of the president quite well. The president can only support and clarify laws passed by Congress. He cannot create them. The role of the president, in the realm of law making, is 100 percent subordinate to the Congress.


Terry Branstad promises to make Americans poorer

Trump’s nominee for ambassador to China, Iowa governor Terry Branstad promises to decrease the supply of goods and increase prices for American consumers thus making them poorer.

President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the U.S. ambassador to China said on Tuesday he would do everything possible to address what he called China’s “unfair and illegal” sales of underpriced steel in the world market.

“I want to do everything I can to make sure that we stop the unfair and illegal activities that we’ve seen from China in the steel industry,” the nominee, Iowa’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, said at his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing.

That about sums it up. Branstad promises to increase the goods available to the Chinese and decrease those available to Americans. He knows that tens of millions of Americans are so clueless about economics that they believe that artificially increasing scarcity will benefit them.

This, by the way, is the longest serving governor in American history and long time advocate of corn ethanol subsidies.

It is officially impossible to distinguish between the two parties. They each strive to control the economy, choose net beneficiaries of government largess, choose who wins, choose who fails and play the role of economic arbiter.

Supporters of both parties demand that pockets be picked that that bread and circuses be distributed. The welfare statism of the Democrats is only distinguished from the welfare statism of the Republicans by the means of redistribution.



Trump’s Trillion Dollar Budget

There is a lot of pork in there but none for the wall.

President Trump on Tuesday defended the controversial $1 trillion-plus budget deal heading for a vote – as he and congressional Republicans face conservative anger at what critics see as a cave to Democrats on everything from sanctuary cities to funding for Planned Parenthood.

“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!” Trump tweeted, adding that the solution is to elect more Republican senators in 2018 “or change the rules” of the Senate filibuster.

“Money goes to Planned Parenthood, as you said. Money continues to go to sanctuary cities, but no money for the border wall,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in an interview with CNN.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of conservatives against this plan this week.”

More at Fox News.


President Trump talks history

Mr. Trump discusses Andrew Jackson; Steve Bannon’s favorite president.

TRUMP: They said my campaign is most like, my campaign and win was most like Andrew Jackson with his campaign. And I said, “When was Andrew Jackson?” It was 1828. That’s a long time ago. That’s Andrew Jackson. And he had a very, very mean and nasty campaign. Because they said this was the meanest and the nastiest. And unfortunately it continues.

ZITO: His wife died.

TRUMP: His wife died. They destroyed his wife and she died. And, you know, he was a swashbuckler. But when his wife died, you know, he visited her grave every day. I visited her grave actually, because I was in Tennessee.

ZITO: Oh, that’s right, you were in Tennessee.

TRUMP: And it was amazing. The people of Tennessee are amazing people. Well, they love Andrew Jackson. They love Andrew Jackson in Tennessee.

ZITO: Yeah, he’s a fascinating —

TRUMP: I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart, and he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, “There’s no reason for this.” People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, you think about it, why?

ZITO: Yeah —

TRUMP: People don’t ask that question. But why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

For the record, people do – in fact – ask that question. It is probably the most asked question by US historians.