Fake News About Russians and The Election

The breathless New Years Eve headlines were that President Obama retaliated against the Russians for “hacking the election.”

He ordered some 35 Russian personnel, variously described in the media as diplomats or intelligence analysts or spies, to leave the U.S.  Two residential facilities or “compounds” they occupied have been seized and locked down by federal authorities.

But “the election” was NOT hacked.

Instead, emails were stolen from accounts belonging to the Democrat National Committee and the chairman of the Clinton campaign.cnn-headline

The establishment media herd has stampeded to publish hysterical but false accounts claiming the Russians, personally directed by Vladimir Putin, hacked the election in order to help Donald Trump win.  These stories cite as their sources a “thirteen page report” from Homeland Security and the FBI.

The media and their Democrat party partners hope that busy Americans will have these two reactions to the phrase “thirteen page report:”nyt-headline

  1. They will assume it to be 13 pages of detailed evidence, proving that the Russians “hacked the election to help Trump win,” and
  2. They will decide it would take too much time and effort to plow through thirteen pages of governmentese jargon so they won’t look for it or attempt to read it.

The most declarative, clearest sentence from the 13 page report is on page 2:

The US Government confirms that two different Russian Intelligence Services actors participated in the intrusion into a U.S. political party.

nbc-headlineAgain, this does not say “the election” or any voting machine or vote tabulating system was hacked. Only the emails of Democrat Party officials were hacked.

Anyone who was paying attention during the final weeks of the election already knows the personal Gmail account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta was compromised, and that thousands of his emails were stolen and then published online by Wikileaks.  As we reported in detail here these emails were embarrassing but only served to confirm the impression made by the candidate herself that she was autocratic and contemptuous of the American people.

But stealing emails from Democrat party officials is not “hacking an election.”

Nowhere in this report is there even a hint that any voting machine or vote tabulating system was touched. The document does not claim or even infer that Putin was involved or that helping Trump win was the mission of those who stole the emails.  Trump’s name does not appear.  Putin’s name doesn’t appear.  The words “Democratic party” don’t appear.

The report doesn’t explain how they reached the conclusion that Russian Intelligence services were involved.  The only evidence offered to connect Russia to the theft of the emails is that the method, “spearphising” or tricking people into revealing their user names and passwords, is consistent with a method used by cyber criminals believed to be Russian or associated with Russian Intelligence Services.

But anyone, anywhere in the world, can attempt to steal information using the same method.  Indeed, virtually everyone with an email address has been targeted by so-called spearphishing attempts.  Last week I received what I knew immediately was a spearphishing email because it told me to go to a web site and enter the username and password for my account at a bank where I don’t have an account.

The first three pages of the report are dense, jargon filled prose purporting to discuss the theft of emails but without actually revealing anything significant.  The remaining ten pages are devoted to generic, non-specific advice for network administrators on how to prevent hacking.  Nowhere in those remaining pages is there any mention of the Democrats’ stolen emails or the election.

So in reality, the “13 page report” is only three pages, and even those are designed to plant perceptions without providing any factual backup.

Yet the New York Times, Washington Post, and several other establishment news organizations continue to claim “the election” was “hacked,” an obvious attempt at deception, to plant in the minds of Americans the perception that the wrong candidate won the election because Russian hackers, directed by Putin somehow altered the vote counts.

And apparently they’ve had some success.  A recent poll shows half of Democrat voters believe Russians tampered with vote totals to get Trump elected.

These so-called “mainstream news” sources have recently been on a campaign, sanctimoniously grumbling about sites like Liberty works and hundreds of others they accuse of publishing “fake news.”  Some media personalities have even called for government intervention, in violation of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press.

But their malevolent attempt to undermine confidence in the election and to delegitimize the Trump Administration before it begins is the worst sort of fake news.

Russian Hack Conspiracy Theory Fails to Overturn the Election

The Electoral College has voted and attempts to subvert it have failed.  Donald Trump won, as he should have. 

russians-did-it-dogBut, in an eleventh hour effort to overturn the election the political-media establishment has been in total eruption mode with commentators and websites howling that Russia somehow “hacked the election” and urging Republican Electors to vote against Trump.  They claim Russian ruler Vladimir Putin intervened to help Trump snatch what was supposed to have been, what all the left’s most respected, establishment glitterati predicted would be, Hillary Clinton’s unstoppable march to victory.  On December 15 Mrs. Clinton, echoing hysterical media headlines, told an audience of high-end donors who wanted to know why their money was wasted…

Vladsmall-hillary-3imir Putin himself directed the cyber attacks against our electoral system, against our democracy, apparently because he has a personal beef against me.

This incendiary language, “cyber attacks against our electoral system” is obviously intended to plant the perception that Putin directed a squad of diabolical techno-goons who somehow reached into local polling precincts to change vote counts, thus changing the outcome of the election. 

But, there is absolutely no report from any federal, state or local government agency indicating that there is even a suspicion that Russia or anyone else “hacked” or altered any voting machine or vote tabulating system. Period.

The only substance behind all this uproar is that in the weeks leading up to the election Wikileaks published thousands of emails that had been stolen from Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s personal Gmail account.  Many of them were damaging to the public image of the candidate and her team.  Some revealed that Podesta and his staff harbored elitist, condescending attitudes toward millions of voters, even including some they thought would vote for Hillary.

Podesta’s Gmail wasn’t “hacked” in the sense most of us understand the word.  No outsider broke through Gmail firewalls.  Instead, Podesta stupidly fell for a phishing scam that sent him to a fake page where he voluntarily entered his password, thus allowing whoever initiated the phishing to simply log in to his Gmail account and download copies of all the emails therein.

The media-manufactured crisis began with this breathless, opening paragraph in a December 9 Washington Post front page article titled “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House”:

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the electoral system.

The source of the content of a secret CIA assessment?  Unidentified “officials” who “spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters” [sic] who, the Post claims, knew something about a “closed-door briefing on Capital Hill” with “key senators.”  So far the CIA has not presented evidence to support this conclusion.  So far no “key senators” have acknowledged being briefed.

Then the Post tucked this bit of detail into the eleventh paragraph of the same article:

…intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin “directing” the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, a second senior U.S. official said.

Wow! What if the Washington Post really wanted to present unbiased news in proper context?  Would it not put the eleventh paragraph first?  Then, the second paragraph might say that unnamed, unidentified, “officials” nevertheless say Russian government officials directed the WikiLeaks publication of emails, and helping Trump win was their motive. An honest headline to the article might have been: “CIA and other Officials Disagree About Russian Middling in the Election.”

There have since been more articles and TV reports expanding on the Post’s claims.  Now, we’re told that the directors of the FBI and the CIA and their boss, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, all agree that Putin personally directed the project that stole Podesta’s emails and provided them to Wikileaks in order to help Trump.

But none of these articles or reports include hard evidence or Congressional testimony from anyone in the Intelligence Community.  The last time we were offered anything close to evidence was an October statement from Director Clapper:

The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.

“Consistent with methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts”?  Well, how many methods are there?  Again, Podesta was the victim of a phishing scam, a method so common almost all of us have received similar emails.  So Clapper’s assertion is like saying the police are confident that Sam robbed the gas station because even though the robber wore a mask his method, pointing a gun at the clerk and running away with the money, was “consistent” with Sam’s.

The Democrats’ apparent argument is that publishing Podesta’s emails on Wikileaks was the deciding factor that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.  But Hillary herself exposed the elitism, the scorn for Middle America, the arrogance of her campaign in her own vile accusations while speaking to an audience of elite, liberal donors at the posh Cipriani Club 55 on Wall Street:

little-hillary-flipflopYou could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic?—?you name it…Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable. But thankfully they are not America.

Republican candidates are routinely called racist and those other ists and ics in Mrs. Clinton’s rant.  But it is unusual for a politician to revile tens of millions of private citizens with such venom.

Good, decent people believe that racism – prejudice or antagonism or government sanctions against people of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior – is evil. Thus they consider an accusation that they are racist to be a deeply offensive accusation that they are evil.

Good, decent people who have suffered losses in the Obama economy are especially offended when they hear themselves attacked as evil in front of a giggling, cheering audience of the smug, government-media-Wall Street elite, the guys who presume to be superior to the rest of us, and seek the power to direct our culture and our economy, and, who also are fully insulated by our tax dollars from the consequences of their own stupidity and malfeasance.

In a video that went viral and was seen by millions on TV, Hillary told another group of pompous elites that “deep seeded religious beliefs have to change.”  These would of course be the Christian and Jewish beliefs that fail to conform with the latest, trendy, progressive “values.”  On the other hand, Donald Trump, who appears to have little knowledge of the Bible and whose personal life does not seem to indicate a desire to be Christ-like, emphatically promised to protect Evangelicals’ First Amendment right to freedom of religion.  Is it any wonder then, that he was the overwhelming favorite of Evangelical voters?  Is there any doubt he would have been even if there had been no exposure of the mocking, sneering emails?

Neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Podesta has disputed the authenticity of the emails that were published by Wikileaks.  In reality this “hacking” served only to confirm what voters who were paying attention already knew about Hillary and her arrogant staff and her imperious donors.

However, it is important to clear the air regarding possible Russian involvement with possible direction by Putin.  If the Intelligence community has genuine proof, in the form of intercepted communication between top Russian government officials, or Putin himself, and someone who is verified to be the individual who operated the phishing scam against Podesta we the people have a right to see it. If they do not have such proof they should step up and say so.

What is NOT acceptable is continued attempts to overturn the election and discredit the President based on leaked rumor and unconfirmable conspiracy theories.

 

The Christmas Miracle

From “The Message” Bible, a translation from the original Greek and Hebrew Manuscripts to contemporary American English.

dsc00392

Luke 1:

26-28 God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:

“Good morning!
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.”

29-33She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.

He will be great,
be called ‘Son of the Highest.’
The Lord God will give him
the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever—
no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

34Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”

35The angel answered,

The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the child you bring to birth
will be called Holy, Son of God.

Luke 2:

1-5: About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken  throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7: While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

8-12: There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

13-14: At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,

Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18: As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

19-20: Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

Why Hillary Lost in Three Charts

msmUp until about 9 p.m. election night, the smug elites of the political-media establishment were unanimous in their faith that of course Queen Hillary of the House of Clinton Political Machine would vanquish the crass, inept Trump with no experience, no consultants, no visible “ground game,” no clue.

Now they’re immersed in shock, disbelief, grief, and despair.  They’re indulging in anger at 60 million voters – not one of whom they’re acquainted with – people they disdain as racist ignoramuses.  But the real motivations of Trump voters are not hard to understand.  They fall in two, overlapping categories: Economic and cultural.  In this post we deal with economics.

Hillary Clinton lost because her implicit promise was to preserve and build upon President Obama’s economic “accomplishments.”  He managed to force a tax increase through Congress in 2012. She promised even higher taxes.  She vowed to continue his breathtaking  roll out of new regulations, burying employers, entrepreneurs and investors in prohibitions, mandates and mind-numbing complexity with harsh penalties, including stiff fines and even prison time for violations.  And, of course there’s Obamacare, a government take-over of health insurance, coupled with complex new regulations of health care providers.gdp-obama-vs-average

The voters’ obvious question was, after eight years, how have Obama’s economic policies performed? Let’s start with the most comprehensive measure of overall economic health, the quarterly, Gross Domestic Product reports from the Commerce Department.  The first chart, above, measures economic growth during the economic recovery beginning with the first quarter after the end of the 2008-2009 recession.

The Obama era post-recession economy turned out to be the weakest since the government began issuing quarterly GDP growth reports in 1947.  As the chart shows, we’re enduring a growth rate that is less than half of average.nov-2016-labor-participation

The next chart, above, debunks Obama-Clinton claims of low unemployment.  In fact, the only reason the official unemployment rate has declined at all, from it’s 9.8% peak in 2010 is an unprecedented reclassification of working age Americans from “unemployed to “out the labor force.”

The labor force participation rate is the percentage of working age people who “participate” in the labor force either by being employed or by being counted as unemployed.  When jobless people become discouraged and don’t actively seek employment every week they are reclassified from “unemployed” to “out of the labor force,” and are no longer counted in computing the official unemployment rate.

This decline in the labor force participation rate during an economic recovery has never happened before.  Because so many jobless people aren’t counted as unemployed the decline in the unemployment rate is, for the first time ever, a negative indicator.  If all jobless people were counted, raising the participation rate to a pre-recession level the unemployment rate would be well above 9%.

The uncounted jobless are still there, still available for work, and when job openings are advertised some of them apply, increasing the supply of available employees, which results in lower wages for whoever is fortunate enough to land a job.

Most of them don’t research employment statistics but virtually every voter outside the Washington D.C.-Manhattan-Hollywood bubble knows someone who, after years of productive work has found him/herself without a job and without hope of finding a job that pays as well as the one he/she lost, or any job at all at any wage.  Few of them saw our chart before voting but they “feel” the effects.

Finally, the federal debt. In response to the 2008-09 recession President Bush began and then President Obama – with the enthusiastic support of Congressional Democrats – ratcheted up the largest ever spike in federal spending.  Obama’s promise was that it would “immediately jumpstart job creation.”

Obviously, massive spending didn’t deliver.

But spending was never cut back to normal levels.  Even after four years of irresponsible and risky cuts to military budgets, federal spending in 2016 is an astonishing 63% higher than it was before the recession, after adjusting for inflation. 

The third chart, below, illustrates the result of runaway, uncontrolled spending, an unprecedented, reckless escalation in government debt. debt-obama-up-8t

For his part, Donald Trump consistently promised tax cuts on business and employers couple with a regulation rollback, starting with a brilliant new requirement that for every new regulation imposed upon the American people, two existing regulations must be revoked.  And of course, he will repeal Obamacare.

President-elect Trump overcame a lot of negative baggage to win the election.  We at Liberty Works will enthusiastically support his initiatives to improve economic opportunity, dramatically increase employment and restore sanity to federal spending.

 

Hillary Tells Her Donors Your Religious Beliefs “will have to change”

Hillary Clinton’s closing theme, repeated at every campaign event is about “unity.”  Like Barack Obama before her, she promises that somehow she will “bring us together” so we’ll all agree with those progressive schemes to expand the power, reach and cost of government.

President Obama had some success in tightening the progressive vice on America: Stepped up immigration, a breathtaking expansion in Federal regulatory power, and of course Obamacare.  But his successes provoked resistance, anger and rebellion at the ballot box.  Democrats lost 69 House seats and 13 Senate seats in three elections since his Presidency began. 

The Progressive movement reacted as it always does, not by trying to sell for its positions in the marketplace of ideas.  Instead Progressives seek to silence opposition, to delegitimize resistance to growing government power. They’ve had some success, notably on college campuses and in the establishment media.  But there is still stubborn resistance. 

In this video presents her final solution to political opposition. She seems to be calling for government to forcibly change your beliefs if you dare to disagree.

Hillary Clinton Has Disqualified Herself

The best question was about the Supreme Court.  Hillary Clinton’s preposterous answers disqualify her for the office of President.

third-presidential-debateUnfortunately, we’ve come to a depressing moment in American history.  The political-media-academic establishment abhors the Constitution, shouting down anyone who wants it enforced and obeyed, calling us “extremist” or “nutcase” or “bigoted.”  This was the context for Moderator Chris Wallace’s first question.

WALLACE: The first topic is the Supreme Court….First of all, where do you want to see the court take the country?  And secondly, what’s your view on how the Constitution should be interpreted? Do the founders words mean what they say or is it a living document to e applied flexibly according to changing circumstances?

The first part was asked from, and affirms the point of view of the Progressive Left that somehow the Supreme Court could or should “take the country” to some new place.  But the second part of the question is critically important and asking it was an heroic act of defiance of the establishment. It identifies the core difference between what the establishment calls “the liberal wing” and “the conservative wing” of the Supreme Court. 

The Conservatives should be called Originalists because they do indeed believe that the founders words meant what they said, and the original plain meaning of the Constitution’s text should be applied by the Court to settle current disputes.  The liberals largely ignore the actual Constitution, substituting the opinions of modern elites and their own thoughts which they claim constitutes a “living” or “flexible” Constitution.

Here’s a portion of Hillary’s answer, including three rhetorical questions:

small-hillary-3You know, I think when we talk about the Supreme Court, it really raises the central issue in this election, namely, what kind of country are we going to be?  What kind of opportunities will we provide for our citizens?  What kind of rights will Americans have?

Hillary’s thoughts and rhetorical questions are incoherent and utterly divorced from the the Constitution that created the Supreme Court.

  1. The Constitution absolutely does not empower nine, non-elected judges to decide anything so expansive and ambiguous as “what kind of country are we going to be.”  The court’s job is to resolve disputes over the interpretation of the Constitution and/or federal law.
  2. In asking “what kind of opportunities will we provide for our citizens?” who does Hillary mean by “WE”?  Well, among the elites in her progressive bubble “we” is always government. But the Constitution not empower the Court or any branch of government, including to provide opportunities, or to decide which opportunities to allow.
  3. Her question, “What kind of rights will Americans have?” is comprehensively answered in the body of the Constitution and the first ten amendments.  The legitimate job, indeed the sworn duty, of judges is to support and defend that Constitution, not to determine now what rights citizens do or do not have.

Hillary Continued…small-hillary-2

And I feel strongly that the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy.

Well, millions who own shares of corporations as individuals or through pension funds, mutual funds or 401K funds, and the employees of corporations, are also Americans, as are the wealthy. The Justice’s duty is not to take a fixed, predetermined “stand” against some Americans, but to judge and decide each case on its merits, in accordance with the law and the Constitution.  And by the way, the Justices all swore an oath of office that includes, “…I will administer justice without respect to persons and do equal right to the poor and to the rich…”

More of Hillary’s answer…small-hillary-3

For me that means that we need a supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of Women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community…

The Justice’s duty is to protect the rights of every person, not just those of Hillary’s targeted voting blocks or one the Left’s favored “communities.”

Hillary ended up with…small-hillary-2

I feel that at this point in our country’s history, it is important that we…stand up and basically say, the Supreme Court should represent all of us.

But the Justices are not representatives!  Under the Constitution we have 435 representatives in the House and 100 in the Senate.  Rather than represent anyone, the Supreme Court Justices’ job is to apply the Constitution, and/or laws duly enacted by Congress to decide the cases before them.

Hillary ignored the second, and most important part of Wallace’s question, should the Constitution be interpreted as if the words mean what they say, or should the Justices beliefs override those words.  She ignored it because her answer, if she were honest, would have to be that in her opinion the words of the Constitution are of little or no consequence.

What about Trump’s answer?  The first two-thirds didn’t address either of Wallace’s questions except to stress his support for Justices who would retain the second Amendment’s individual right to keep and bear arms.  He did finally finish up with a direct answer, exactly the answer that one who wants to be President should have offered, to Wallace’s second question:

smal-trump[T]he Justices I am going to appoint will interpret the Constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted.  And I believe that’s very, very important.  I don’t think we should have Justices appointed that decide what they want to hear. It’s all about the Constitution, and so important, the Constitution, the way it was meant to be.

Hillary’s media cheer leaders are often heard bellowing that Trump is unfit, that his ideas have utterly disqualified him from the Presidency.  But if they were educated in the Constitution they would be appalled at her apparent lack of understanding.  They would have to, if they had any integrity, declare her apparent ignorance of the legitimate, Constitutional role of the court to be disqualifying.

Who Is The Real Threat to Women?

So Donald Trump chose to immerse himself in the Manhattan-Hollywood celebrity culture and was caught on a hot mike boasting that his fame empowered him to abuse women.  Disgusting. 

Of course Hillary Clinton isn’t the least bit embarrassed that the disgusting, amoral Manhattan-Hollywood, celebrity culture where young women who haven’t yet “made it” are exploited and abused daily, supports Democrats in every election with celebrity endorsements and high-end fund raisers. When it comes to Hillary’s own campaigns, desire for cash supplants sanctimonious indignation.

Would a Trump Presidency be worse for women than a Clinton presidency? Let’s compare Trump’s trash-talk with a recent Obama Administration decree – fully supported by Hillary Clinton – that deliberately, unambiguously subjugates women and girls, in service of one of the Progressive movement’s trendy new causes.

Under new “guidance” from the Obama Administration any male student of any age who “self-identifies” as a girl has the right to, and must be permitted to, use girls restrooms, locker rooms and showers. Any girls or parents who object have no rights or recourse.

In May of this year the Obama Departments of Justice and Education sent a notice to every school district in America setting forth, and threatening financial penalties for disobedience to, the President’s new “Significant Guidance” with regard to transgender students.  Under the so-called “guidance” which is actually a set of requirements, a student IS whatever gender he/she asserts he/she is.  That his/her “gender identity” is simply mistaken, that it does not correspond with physical reality, is irrelevant. Common sense is irrelevant.

Here is the relevant, anti-female paragraph:

“Restrooms and Locker Rooms: A school may provide separate facilities on the basis of sex, but must allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity.  A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so.”

Again, for purposes of this “guidance” the definition of transgender is a student whose “gender identity” is the opposite of his/her actual, biological sex.  And a student’s “Gender Identity” is whatever the student says it is.  This same notice forbids school officials from applying any biological, psychological or legal criteria to verify a boy’s asserted female “identity.”  He is whatever he says he is, and he can change what he says he is any time for any reason or no reason.

In the bizarro Progressive world, if an 18 year old (the age most students reach in their senior year of high school) boy says he’s female, he must be permitted to shower and dress next to 15-16-17-18 year old girls. Objections from the girls or their parents are to be summarily rejected because, as the Directive from Washington arrogantly snorts…

“The desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of student.”

So, requiring a boy to use the boys locker room would somehow “disadvantage” him if says his gender identity is female.

So which candidate would, as President, would be more offensive to women and girls?  The one who, twelve years ago, acted like a trashy-mouthed frat boy while in the company of other trashy-mouthed frat boys, in a culture that favors teh Democrat Party and celebrates such behavior?  Or, the one who approves of, and will continue to use the menacing power of the federal government to force girls to submit to co-ed locker rooms, just so progressives can feel important.

Critical Issue the Sex Obsessed Media Ignores

In the second debate, just after Hillary Clinton avoided answering a question and instead demanded that DonaldTrump publish his tax returns Moderator Anderson Cooper jumped in with, “Actually on the topic of taxes, we have a question from Spencer Moss.”

The question from Mr. Moss:

Good evening.  My question is what specific tax provisions will you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes?

This question was an obvious setup to favor the Clinton campaign because it was based on an unproved assumption that is at the central feature of her campaign, the funding source that makes possible billions in new benefits and entitlements she promises to enact if elected.  That never-examined assumption is that “the wealthiest” don’t pay a “fair share” of income tax.

Neither candidate offered a coherent answer and Trump missed an opportunity to call out the obvious bias the moderators demonstrated in selecting that particular question.

fair-share-dualTrump’s answer should have begun with a rhetorical question: What share of total income tax revenue would be a “fair share?”  He could have presented the data captured in our graphs, drawn directly from annual reports issued by the IRS.  Most economic commentary comes from so-called “studies” which are estimates based on indirect sources of data.  But the data in IRS’s statistical reports comes directly from the millions of tax returns it receives each year.  The most recent IRS report is for the 2014 tax year.

Contrary to the perception Mrs. Clinton and the media continuously plant in the mind of the public, IRS data show that the SHARE of taxes paid by the top bracket earners is astoundingly high.  As the charts show, the top 5% of income earners pay 57% of all income tax revenue received by the government.

The average top-one-percent taxpayer, earning over $500,000, pays 99 times as much as the average bottom 95% taxpayer, earning less than $200,000.

Just one of every 100 taxpayers (Over $500,000) is paying an average of $350 of every $1,000 the IRS collects.  Ninety five of every 100 taxpayers pay an average of $4.52 each of every $1,000 the IRS collects.

Mrs. Clinton should be put on the spot with a simple question:  If the problem in America is the rich don’t pay their “fair share” what share would be “fair”?

We at Liberty Works have been skeptical of Donald Trump’s campaign. But we enthusiastically endorse his courageous tax cut proposal.  He’s received too little credit from Conservatives and free market supporters.  He should have promoted it as his answer to this rigged debate question.

Trump would dramatically reduce income tax rates for all businesses, from the largest corporations to the smallest mom & pop enterprise.  What makes his idea courageous? Read on.

Trump’s proposal is courageous because he knew the entire phalanx of political-media-academia elites would stampede to the cameras and keyboards to revile and denounce him, thundering the same accusation: “Trump’s plan is cruel to the poor and middle class while giving even more money to the wealthiest!”  Indeed, part of Mrs. Clinton’s answer to the debate question was:

His plan will give the wealthy and corporations the biggest tax cuts they have ever had. More than the Bush tax cuts by at least a factor of two. Donald always takes care of Donald and people like Donald. And this would be a massive gift. And  the way that he talks about his tax cuts would end up raising taxes on middle class families. 

But Trump’s cutting-edge proposal would energize what has been the moribund Obama economy with a new, low tax rate on all businesses, from huge corporations to modest mom and pop enterprises. He would set a maximum 15% tax rate on all business income.  Currently the maximums are 35% for large corporations and 39.6% for “pass through” medium size and small businesses.  We’ll explain pass through in a moment.

So what is Mrs. Clinton’s tax platform? In her campaign events she bellows endlessly that the rich, including those who own businesses and create jobs must begin to “pay their fair SHARE.”  She plans to increase taxes on business because, in her words,

“We’ll go where the money is!”

The national media don’t ask her the obvious followup question, what share of income tax paid would be “fair?”  But we know what the answer would be:  MORE!

business-owner-dualWhat do the IRS statistics tell us about these highest income earners? How do they earn their wealth?  As the chart below shows, most of them – 89% – are business owners.

These businesses are organized – in IRS speak – as “pass through entities.”  They are sole proprietorships, S-Corporations, LLCs and partnerships who, under IRS rules, do not submit business tax returns like large corporations do.  Instead all business revenue, expenses and profits “pass through” to the owners’ personal tax returns.  According to census data 55% of all business employment is in pass-through companies.

Typically, these owners keep a portion of profits for personal/family consumption and leave a portion in the business to reinvest in improvements, upgrades and expansions or to pay down debt. But both portions – all income – is combined and reported as a lump sum, on a single tax return which does not differentiate.

Most of these high income taxpayers are the owners of of the “middle market” businesses that create nearly all the new jobs in America.

Middle market is generally defined as a business with annual gross sales in the millions.  They’re bigger than “small businesses” with less than $1 million in sales and – typically – a dozen or fewer employees, but smaller than “big business,” the huge corporations with annual sales in the billions and thousands of employees. One survey found that middle market businesses  average 367 employees each.

Should the rest of us, the 95% who earn less than $200,000, be for or against taxing away more of the profits of these businesses?  Is there a downside that Democrats’ emotionally charged campaign slogans don’t disclose as they encourage us to resent these business owner taxpayers? 

Yes!

These high income business builders don’t react to tax hikes by moving their families into smaller homes or buying cheaper cuts of beef.  When government shrinks their after-tax income they react with shrinking investments in the start-ups and expansions that generate new jobs and raise the demand for employees which results in higher wages.  This is why Mrs. Clinton’s call for targeting these specific business owners for higher taxes directly contradicts her vague promises to help small business create jobs.

In a rational world the government would set lower, not higher tax rates on these entrepreneurs and investors, to benefit the middle class.  This is exactly what Donald Trump has proposed.

Nothing the government could do would juice the economy and increase the demand for employees more rapidly than Donald Trump’s proposal to tax business income at no more than 15%.  The share of income tax paid by the top one percent would likely decline slightly.  But so what?  We have a simple choice: tax increases designed to raise the SHARE of taxes paid by business owners, or tax cuts to free them to create jobs – which also creates tax payers –  and to raise wages and spread prosperity?

Hillary’s Deplorable Accusations Can Only Help Trump

By now anyone interested in the Presidential election has heard the viral video clip of Hillary Clinton’s, vile accusations while speaking to an audience of elite, liberal donors at the posh Cipriani Club 55 on Wall Street in Manhattan.

little-hillary-flipflopYou could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic?—?you name it…Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable. But thankfully they are not America.

The phrase “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” was delivered in a deliberately obnoxious, screeching tone of voice that could have been an embittered man’s imitation of a nagging, irritating woman.

little-club-55-with-captionDemocrats are unable to win elections solely by promising that their next big government scheme will make our lives better.  Polls show historic highs in public contempt for and distrust of politicians and government.  So, they have become ever more strident in warning women and minorities – actually everyone except straight, white men – to vote against Republicans in order to avoid being victimized by dark forces of bigotry.  

Thus, we small government advocates are accustomed to accusations of racism, as if women and minorities don’t benefit from liberty.  Republican candidates are routinely called racist and those other ists and ics in Mrs. Clinton’s rant.

But it is unusual for a politician to revile tens of millions of private citizens with such venom.

Good, decent people know that racism – prejudice or antagonism or attacks or government sanctions against people of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior – is evil. Thus they consider an accusation that they are racist to be a deeply offensive accusation that they are evil.

Good, decent people who have suffered losses in the Obama economy are especially offended when they hear themselves attacked as evil in front of a giggling, cheering audience of the smug, government-media-Wall Street elite, the guys we’re told we must trust to “manage” the economy, but are fully insulated by our tax dollars from the consequences of their own malfeasance.

Millions of Good, decent people have decided they have little to lose and are willing to roll the dice on the mercurial, erratic Donald Trump.  It’s a way to wave their collective middle finger at the elite.  It’s a way to express hostility to regulatory schemes that enrich, Wall Street and K Street players and the politicians they fund, while diminishing or even destroying Main Street livelihoods.  It’s a way to say “we’re fed up with your lies and your arrogance.”

Hillary’s “deplorable” remark seems to have opened an angry, ugly fire hose of racism and bigotry accusations from Washington’s usual suspects, spraying Trump, the Republicans and their voters.  Our prediction is that in the end it will be a net gain for Trump.  If Trump is smart he’ll use it as an opening to intensify his effort to persuade Black and Latino voters that the establishment elite have nothing to offer them but more of the same vacuous slogans.  He should add that while Democrats think racial conflict is in their political interest, it’s not in the economic or social interest of any ethnic group.  It’s a net loser for everyone, of every race.

Someone should explain to Mrs. Clinton and her surrogates that they won’t overcome the pain their false accusations of bigotry have caused good, decent people by hauling out the bull horns to more fiercely repeat the same accusations.

Trump is Right: Economic Growth is Pathetic

Opinion polls consistently show Americans disappointed and dissatisfied with the nation’s economy.  The chart below confirms their opinions are grounded in objective reality.

On Friday, July 29 the government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis published it’s second quarter GDP report.  In April, May and June the economy grew by a pathetic 1.2%.  Previous quarters were revised downward.

With President Obama’s support Hillary Clinton has been campaigning on the claim that things really aren’t as bad as Donald Trump and the Republicans say.  So, this report should have been a major setback for her and a boost for the Trump campaign.  However, instead of holding Mrs. Clinton and the Democrats accountable for the anemic economy Mr. Trump diverted the media to seven days of wall-to-wall coverage of more of his self-inflicted wounds.

But, Trump came back strong as he presented his economic plan in a televised speech to the Detroit Economic Club on March 8.  Among several criticisms of the economic status quo was this:

Let’s look at what  the Obama-Clinton policies have done nationally. Their policies produced 1.2% economic growth, the weakest so-called recovery since the Great Depression.

With these words Mr. Trump was right on point. 

The Obama administration insists that any assessment of its economic record begin, not with his inauguration in January, 2009 but seven months later, after the recession ended and the post-recession recovery began.  Fair enough!  He did inherit the recession.

As it happens, this year’s second quarter marked the seventh anniversary of the Obama era (so-called) recovery.  Our handy charts put it in perspective.bar-chart-7-obama-years-2

As the charts above and below show we’ve just completed seven years of the weakest recovery since the government began the current system of quarterly GDP reports in almost 7 decades ago.   

And Trump was absolutely right.  GDP growth in the most recent quarter as 1.2%.  Average GDP growth over the seven year Obama recovery was 2.1%, compared to an average of 4.7% for all post-recession, recovery quarters since 1948.all-recoveries-column-2nd-Q-2016

 

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