Saturday, November 28, 2015

Donald Trump's Four T's will make America Great Again

In a letter to the NY Post, Donald Trump Explained how his Four T's would make America great again. The T's are:

  1. Trivialize women, minorities and the handicapped.
  2. Trust no one. 
  3. Trample your opponents
  4. Turn in you neighbors to the police. 

Donald Trump 2016

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Supply side economics and the one per cent.

The Gross National income of the US in 2014 is $17,601,119,000,000.

The gross national income (GNI) is the total domestic and foreign output claimed by residents of a country, consisting of gross domestic product (GDP) plus factor incomes earned by foreign residents, minus income earned in the domestic economy by nonresidents. (Wikipedia).

One does not have to a brain surgeon like Ben Carson to understand why supply side economics will never work in the United States. The top quintile or 20 per cent of Americans now earn half the income. The the top one per cent rake in 23 per cent of the GNI.

Admittedly the affluent live in better home and drive better cars, travel more and take international vacations, but most of their income is surplus. Indeed, the affluent can take some of this surplus income and convert it to capital by buying stock, bonds and mutual funds. However, the top 10 per cent of Americans own more than 80 per cent of this market already. The top one per cent own more than 38 per cent of he stock and bond market.

As the Motley Fool points out:

Wealthy people don't own stocks because they're wealthy; they're wealthy because they own stocks.

The size of the U.S. bond market is just under $37 trillion, finance professor Torben Anderson at the Kellogg School of Management says in “Volatile Assets” in July 2012. In comparison, the market capitalization of the U.S. stock market is about $21 trillion.

The top decile (10 per cent) of income has a direct participation rate of 47.5% and an indirect participation rate in the form of retirement accounts of 89.6% in the stock and bond market. In the top decile, mean value of all holdings fell from $982,000 to $969,300 in 2007

U.S. corporate bond sales swelled to an annual record as a late-year rush by borrowers to lock in low interest rates pushed offerings for 2014 past $1.5 trillion.

Data compiled by Bloomberg. Internet commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. which sold $8 billion in bonds in one month, helping push this year’s bond volume past the previous high of $1.494 trillion set in 2013.

In 2014 a lot of mutual funds were converted to bonds and bond sale outpaced stock sales. The point here is that many stock, bond and mutual fund sales are conversions rather than new purchases.

The top 1 per cent of Americans earned $76,526,604,347,826 in 2014. Even if the one per cent purchased $ 5 trillion in stocks, bonds and mutual funds, which represents most of the US securities market in 2014, such a capital investment would represent a trivial amount of the income the 1 per cent received that year.

This is why tax breaks for the 1 per cent or even the top 10 per cent are pointless. Such tax breaks will do little for the economy. These tax break would at best provide packet change to the one per cent. The per cent of annual income the affluent invest in the stock market is not large enough to be stimulative.

The Democratic party uses a more direct approach to stimulate the economy. Programs like unemployment compensation food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and school lunches for women, Infants and children (WIC) provide direct aid to the middle class and the working poor.

Any funds these program provide are usually quickly spent. The funds do not sit in US or foreign bank accounts as is the case for many upper income Americans.

The middle calls is the basis of the US economic engine, not the one per cent. As the AFL-CiO noted:

The middle class is the great engine of the American economy, but that engine is sputtering.

As one business man explained it, tax breaks at the end of the years are great, but it's customers that make or break a company. The middle class provides the customers to small and larger businesses that drives the US economy.

Supply side economics is blind to the middle class economic engine with its top down approach. Unfortunately America is hearing that same old supply side song from most the Republican candidates for president.


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Monday, October 19, 2015

Does the GOP engage in class warfare?

  The GOP engages in class warfare. misogyny and racism. 

Both the tax plans of Jeb Bush and Donald Trump make this clear. Both tax plans give huge tax breaks to the affluent by cutting the income tax rates for top earning Americans to below 30 per cent. Trump's tax rate is 15 per cent, but he says he will eliminate all deductions. Trump goes further by eliminating the estate tax which only effects the top 0.1 per cent of Americans. 

Republicans like to call the estate tax the death tax and suggest it is double taxation. A progressive estate tax was instituted by Theodore Roosevelt to level the playing field. Unfortunately, the estate tax today is barely functional. The US now has a stratified social system. There is very little social mobility between classes. If you are born working class, you will likely die working class.

Trump suggests families making $50k or less pay no income tax while Bush suggests $40k or less. In both cases, more than half of the taxpayers in the US would be exempt from federal income tax. This proposal would greatly favor the Red states which have lower median incomes than the Blue.

When the dust clears from either of these plans a greater tax burden would end up on the backs of the middle class. Working class Americans would pay little or no tax and the top earning Americans would get huge tax cuts.

Both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush tried similar supply side tax plans and both presidents greatly increased the annual deficits which added trillions to the national debt. Not only did the Republicans lower taxes irresponsibly, they also overspent on the armed services. Bush never vetoed a single bill while in office his first term and increased defense spending by 47 per cent.

The tax cuts plus the runaway spending had bad outcomes. The Bush “ownership society” was predicated on deregulation. This led to a worldwide economic meltdown.

Many observers have suggested the GOP favors defense spending over infrastructure because most defense facilities are in the Red states while the US infrastructure is in the Blue

President Obama was elected overwhelmingly by women voters, black Americans, and Hispanic Americans. It is not a coincidence that all three have attacked by Republicans ever since the elections.

In the case of women, an important institution, Planned Parenthood is being attacked. Certainly Republicans are “Pro-Life,” but it goes far beyond that. Republicans are trying to deny birth control pills and other forms of contraception to women. The real GOP goal appears to be to stop women from having “sex for mere pleasure. “

The attacks on gay or LGBT people is similar but also has an Old testament religious basis. Many evangelical and fundamentalist churches subscribe to the belief the Christian religion is underpinned by repressing gays. Many have predicted Christianity will collapse now that gay marriage is legal.

Much of the GOP racism was stimulated by the election of Barack Obama. America's first black president. Republicans were even more agitated when record number of blacks showed up at the polls and 95 per cent voted for the president. Since the election , many other Red states have instituted laws to “reduce voter fraud”vby requiring multiple forms of identification to vote. Many older and poorer people don't have birth certificates, so they will be unable to vote.

The worst example is in Alabama in which voters must register to vote at the Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices. The state then closed all but 5 DMV offices and the open ones mainly service white drivers and voters.

Lat but not least, is the GOP attack on Latino/Hispanic immigrants. The GOP did poorly in the 2012 election with Romney picking up only 27 per cent of the Hispanic and Latino vote. Marco Rubio thinks the GOP candidate must pick up at lease 40 per cent of this vote to win. Another pollster indicated 42-47 per cent is needed.

Because Obama took 71 per cent of the Latino and Hispanic vote in 2012, Republicans have become anti-immigrant. The GOP will say that immigrants take jobs but most compete for jobs with high school dropouts. They take jobs in construction such as roofing, food service, agriculture, lawn service and gardening. Posit the real GOP concern is that immigrants from south of the border overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

The GOP prefers the Hi-B program that lets in educated workers such as information technology (IT ) people. Recently Walt Disney World told 250 workers, most of which were technical, that they were being laid off and replaced by foreign workers from India. The US workers even had to train their replacements.

Fortunately, Disney got plenty of bad press and dropped plans to replace the workers.

The GOP engages in class warfare in many ways. It uses tax policy to play the middle calls against the affluent and the working class. Its tax policy and appropriations also favors the Red states over the Blue.

The GOP attacks women, black, Latinos/Hispanics and other minorities based on voting patterns. If any group votes for Democrats, the GOP then tries to marginalize that group in the US congress and in statehouses controlled by he GOP.

Thee is one exception, veterans. Although veterans overwhelmingly vote Republican, Republicans the US House and senate have voted down several vet bills since 2008. Apparently the GOP thinks it can take vets for granted.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

GOP tax con game starts again


The proposed tax tables are approximate correlations with the existing federal income tax tables. Trump and Bush are proposing tax brackets that don't exist in the tax code.

Jeb Bush is probably the worst of the bunch with his three tax brackets courtesy of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity that includes Larry Kudlow, Stephan Moore, Steve Forbes and Republican economist Arthur Laffer, an economic fossil from the Reagan era.

Rand Paul also has a similar flat tax plan His 14.5%, plan is similar to Ben Carson's which is based upon tithing. However, Paul doesn't mention tithing

The flat income tax is a bad idea because the majority of American taxes, such as sales tax and municipal property tax, are already flat.

Let's look at a worse case scenario: Huckabee's fair tax. Florida has a sales tax of six or cent and Pinellas county has a one per cent sales tax. So if you purchase the average car which costs $32,000, your sales would boost you cost by another 30 per cent or $9600. You car would now cost $41600 under Huckabee's fair tax.

Now consider what the fair tax would be on a home sale.

Think that is fair?

President George W. Bush reported that that a national sales tax of at least 34 percent would be required to replace federal income tax. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimated the sales tax would need to be at least 45 percent to be revenue neutral.
Donald Trump on a national flat sales tax”

I would try to avoid paying it whenever possible.

Trump makes a great point. You can avoid sales tax with bartering, something that is common in the underground economy.

Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive Republican, created the graduated income tax and Republicans have been whining about ever since,

Theodore Roosevelt said this:

At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will. At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege, and give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth……
No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned.
Every dollar received should represent a dollar's worth of service rendered. . .”

Some other features of the GOP candidates' tax plans:

Trump wants to eliminate the inheritance tax with a would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million. Trump's proposal indicates that that would a one time tax. What people who establish new trusts. In the future, would they be subject to this tax? Trump uses of the term “one time'” suggests that people who establish trusts in the future would get free rides.

The Estate Tax only affect 0.1 to 0.2per cent of the US population and it was reformed when Bill Clinton was president. Not clear why any changes are needed to the Estate Tax.

Jeb Bush's tax plan is even more reactionary that Trump's with three tax brackets. It is similar to his brother's plan that contributed to the record deficit spending Bush does end carried interest for hedge fund mangers that allows their income to be treated as capital gains.

Ted Cruz is the only one who has said much about corporate taxes:

Right now, U.S. corporations face the highest tax rate in the developed world, and they face double taxation if they invest their profits in America.
Ted is correct but there are so many corporate tax exemption, the effective tax rate is one of the lowest in the industrial world. None of the candidates said anything about ending corporate tax exemptions and having a minimum tax on corporations.


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Thursday, September 3, 2015

A non-believers view of religion

Most of these are Meriam Webster definitions. A couple of definitions are also provided by Wikipedia.

Atheist--one who believes that there is no deity

Agnostic--a person who does not have a definite belief about whether God exists or not

Gnosticism ("having knowledge"), is a modern term categorizing a collection of ancient religions whose adherents shunned the Demiurge– which they viewed as created by – and embraced the spiritual world. (Wikipedia)

Fundamentalism--a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as to Christian life and teaching

Evangelical--of or relating to a Christian sect or group that stresses the authority of the Bible, the importance of believing that Jesus Christ saved you personally from sin or hell, and the preaching of these beliefs to other people.

Deism--a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe .

Theism--belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically a belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world.

Spirituality--most any kind of meaningful activity. It is often separated from organized religious institutions, as in the phrase "spiritual but not religious". Traditionally, spirituality refers to a process of re-formation of the personality live a life according to divine will, but there is no single, agreed-upon definition of spirituality.

Many people think atheists and agnostics are different. Actually, most atheists are agnostic. Richard Dawkins has even said it would be fine with him if god did exist. Most atheists like Richard Dawkins do not have any special knowledge about the existence of non-existence of god. Therefore, most atheists are, in fact, agnostic They just do not know.

An agnostic, therefore, is someone who lacks special knowledge about something like God or religion. It is the opposite of gnostic.

On the other hand, a gnostic atheist would be positive that god doesn't exist. Few atheists take this position. Most view god as irrelevant or that people who are adamant about gods' existence need to prove it. 

Fundamentalists and Evangelicals are gnostic. There is no doubt in their minds about the existence of god. Many also think the US is a Christian nation and accordingly Americans should be following god's law, whatever that might be. For example, Kim Davis, the Rowan county Kentucky clerk, thinks she is denying marriage licenses to gay couples under the authority of God.

When the nation was founded, many of the founders were deist. They believed in god , but not organized region. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and John Adams were deists.

Franklin may have even been an atheist: One of his famous quotes: 

Light houses are more useful than churches. 

Theists, on the other hand, participate in organized religion. It would be safe to say that most evangelicals and fundamentalists are gnostic theists. They believe god needs to be worshipped in the context of an institution or ritual. 

There is an example of theism in Judaism. Orthodox Jews say the Temple of Solomon needs be rebuilt on the Temple Mount because it is the only place that God can reside on earth. This is considered the holiest place in Judaism,

Of course the Al Aqsa Mosque would have to be destroyed to rebuild the temple. 

There are also people into spirituality who do not show any interest in organized religion, but believe something is out there. People who are into spirituality appear to be the modern version of deists. 

In summary, most atheists are agnostic. And most fundamentalists and evangelicals are gnostic theists. People into spirituality are, for all intents and purposes, deists.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

The outcome of living in a Red State or a Blue State

In the early days of the industrial revolution, capitalism had two classes: the capitalistic class and the working class. The capitalists wore tops hats and suits and the workers--work clothes. This was the case in the US after the Civil war and until the height of the Progressive movement.

Workers worked 60 hours a week under oppressive conditions. There were no benefits, and safety in the work place was non-existent. Child labor was common. Many of the industrial management practices in the US were based on techniques used during slavery in the antebellum South

It wasn't until the Progressive movement which broke up trusts, the rise of labor unions and the New Deal that a vibrant middle class developed in the US.

It seems the entire objective of Red State conservatism and,in particular, libertarianism, is to return the US to a two class system. Conservatives have achieved this to a certain degree already. The middle class has been declining since the Reagan era and class mobility in the US is the most stagnant of the industrial nations. Even billionaires are concerned about lack of social mobility in the US.

In the past, a college education was a ticket out of the working class, but college expenses have risen as fast as medical care and many young people do not wanted to be saddled with lifelong student debt. Extending public education two more years may provide a partial solution to the conundrum millennials are now in.

Student debt and working wages are the main reason millennial couples cannot afford to purchase a house. Blackstone, the hedge fund has been buying up houses in the $100-$150K range because it suggests “renting is the new American dream.”

Conservatives say the nation will be better off with more privatization and less regulation. They support right to work laws and want to raise the retirement age for Social Security, which will be raised to 67 shortly, and to privatize Medicare and Veterans Affairs. Conservatives also strongly resisted the Affordable Care Act which has reduced the number of medically uninsured to below 10 per cent in the US for the first time.

Red Staters can waive their Confederate flags, picket planned parenthood clinics and yell about State's Rights, but it is clear the Red States lag behind the Blue in many areas: lower literacy rates and higher drop out rates, more STDs and teen pregnancy, lower wages and more poverty. Most of the federal welfare disbursements in the US go to the Red States. 

In the end the Blue States with more liberal polices win. Many of the people who live in the Red States will be lucky to make it to 74. Most of the people in the Blue States live past 80 years of age.


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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Official Donald Trump press release on the Mile High Club

Eric Elder's photo.

Today another item was added to my impressive resume. My wife, Melanoma, and I have been officially certified as members of the Mile High Club for another year.

My wife, who will bring grace and dignity back to the White House, has been participating in this organization for decades. We both look forward to continued membership for years to come.

The Donald
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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Just what America needs, Melania Trump, the First HOTUS.

Melania Knauss-Trump was born Melanija Knavs, Her name was Gormandize to Melania Knauss after she arrived in the US.

She is a former model, a jewellery designer, and the wife of American billionaire Donald Trump.

She married Donald  Trump  in 2005 in a an Episcopal church. Melania was born in Slovenia, a nation that had been part of Yugoslavia. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2006.

It is hypocritical that Donald Trump is married to a recent immigrant from Europe , yet he wants to build a $2 billion dollar wall between Mexico and the US to keep Central American immigrants out.

Donald Trump recently said:

When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best,” They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they're telling us what we're getting.

People from 75 nations have been apprehended at the border and most are form Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, not Mexico.

If  The Donald was somehow to become president, Melania Trump would be the first immigrant First Lady (FLOTUS).

Judging by the pictures, the First HOTUS might be a more apt description. 

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rand Paul may be inelgible to be president

Rightardia recently discovered that Rand Paul is not fully human. He is part hobbit and part human, a rare hybrid that Hobbits call halflings.

Lat month Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) mocked members of the conservative grassroots movement as “Tea-Party hobbits.”

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) responded: 

I’d rather be a hobbit than a troll.

This exactly what a hobbit would say because hobbits and trolls are mortal enemies.

Rightardia used the Hobbit name generator to reveal Rand Paul's real name. It is

Marroc “Panky“ Sandydowns

Paul's hobbit friends referred to him as Panky because he was always involved on some sort of hanky panky in the Middle Earth.

In fact, one of his biggest pranks was his religious “Aqua Buddha“ movement. He even kidnapped a female hobbit and tried to convert her to Aqua Buddhism.

Can Rand Paul run for president since he was not even born in country like Kenya? Since he was born in the Middle Earth, legal scholars say he will not have “birthright citizenship” under the 14th amendment and public law (8 U.S.C. § 1401). 

Rand Paul needs to produce his birth certificate before his candidacy goes any further.

Paul even got a Middle Earth endorsement form Smaug, Smaug is the evil dragon from The Hobbit. 
Smaug appeared on The Colbert Report, displaying a broad range of conservative views. The Dragon stated America should go back to the gold standard, a view he shares with Rand Paul.
Smaug also an advocate of Florida’s controversial stand-your-ground law, citing his experience with the thief, Bilbo Baggins.

How would you feel is someone wearing a hoodie broke into your cave?

The Dragon noted Rand Pails short stature (5'8“) is tall for a hobbit. But his pubescent face and pubic head of hair are classic hobbit good looks.


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Monday, August 10, 2015

Trump tries to make peace with other debate candidates

To make peace with the other candidates, Donald Trump bought the other candidates early holiday gifts.

The Donald started off his shopping spree by buying himself several selfie stick he said he would need when he became president.

He bought the other candidates talking Donald Trump piñatas. Every time you hit the piñata, it says something different. Some of the phases:

“When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.”

"There are many, many people, tremendous numbers of people that are not satisfied [with President Obama's birth certificate]."

"I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created."

"If I were running 'The View,' I'd fire Rosie [O'Donnell]. I mean, I'd look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I'd say, "Rosie, you're fired."

"I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I'll have Mexico pay for that wall."
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever”

When I was attacked viciously by those women, of course, it's very hard for them to attack me on looks, because I'm so good looking,"

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