Monday, December 18, 2017

A Boatload of Crap from Bloomberg News

In re the tax reform and the GOP's capping of the SALT deduction...
Republican Senate and House negotiators in Washington agreed last week on a $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions, or SALT. In high-tax states, that’s bad news. Personal taxes are poised to rise for 13 percent of New Yorkers and 11 percent of California and New Jersey residents, according to an analysis by left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, conducted after the bill’s final details were announced.... tax experts are already formulating ways to stop the feds from grabbing more take-home pay from Californians, New Yorkers and New Jerseyans while folks across America buy boats with the money they save.
Screw yourself Bloomberg News.  Let's talk about boats...but first this...

In high tax states like New York and New Jersey, politicians have handed the state finances over the government employees' unions who have raped their respective states with unconscionable feather-bedding, resulting in escalating fiscal distress.  Connecticut and it's capital, Hartford, are circling the fiscal drain. New Jersey can't find the cash to fund those insane union pension obligations.  New York is only getting by due to the insanely miraculous economic engine that is New York City.  Without its global appeal as a place of business and tourist playground, New York state is bankrupt every which way to Sunday.

Government employees routinely game the rules to accumulate overtime and sick days (often not even really worked) so that over a 15-20 year career they can get a one-time payout in addition to their pension.  Cops, firemen, sanitation workers and teachers, if they play the game right, can retire with a $100,000+ pension and a mid-six figure lump some payout, cheekily referred to by those in the know as...wait for it...a "boat check." 

Your average cop or fireman from up north takes that check, buys a boat, moves to somewhere like South Carolina where that fat pension goes alot farther.  You could fill a small bankrupt city (like Hartford!) with all the public employee retirees kickin' back and living the good life somewhere in NC, SC, GA, Fla.

CNBC Kinda Right About Dem Mal-Practice Over Tax Reform

As usual CNBC doesn't quite get it, but they sure come close...
It looks like the Republican tax reform bill is now a lock to pass in Congress and get signed into law, handing the GOP its first major legislative victory.
But the other big story here is how the Democrats dropped the ball and failed their own base by failing to stop the bill.
I'm not sure Dems could have blocked this thing, they were likely relying on - a good bet actually - the GOP's inability to herd the cats and enforce party discipline the way the Dems do.  But a good plan doesn't mean assured success.  The GOP surprised everybody by both acting fast and coming together. 

Where CNBC gets it right is that the Dems have expended their energy in an orgy of nuttiness and "hot-button" issues that only touch a small minority of Americans' hot buttons (hard core Dems).  Yes, vituperating about sexual assault, wearing pussyhats, and tilting at impeachment windmills are NOT talking intelligently about tax policy and economic vitality.  Still, even then, it's not clear that Americans would have responded to their message if Dems had not taken their eyes off the ball.

People's 401Ks are exploding in value, companies are hiring, and economic optimism is getting up off the floor after eight years of Obama.  Walk into any small business across America, it's so obvious they feel it's due to Trump...and if Trump is saying this tax reform will deliver more of the same, folks are gonna believe Trump.  All the more so because the media says it won't.

Manchurian Candidate Update...

Here's what I said back in seemed rather conspiratorial back then...
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but given the magnitude of how this shifts the balance of power in the Middle East, combined with Valerie Jarrett's background/influence and the fact that there was an ocean of untraceable credit card donations to Obama's election campaign (they actively turned off monitoring software, lest you forget), I'm inclined to believe a Manchurian Candidate plot more and more.
But recent revelations are proving me a tad prescient and perhaps not all that conspiratorial ...
On Sunday night, Politico sent an email previewing an another investigative article alleging that the Obama administration had “derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed, Bashar al-Assad-allied, Justice Department-designated terrorist organization Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States.”
This email dramatically underplays the outlet’s reporting. While it looks like the Obama administration neutralized efforts to stop a terrorist group from funding its operations through criminal enterprises in the United States — which should be a major scandal itself — according to Josh Meyer’s source-heavy reporting, it also decided to let a top Hezbollah operative named Ali Fayad, who had not only been indicted in U.S. courts for planning to kill American government employees but whom agents believed reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a key supplier of weapons to Syria and Iraq, to skate free.
I anticipate history will unfold revealing the Obama administration to be one of the most scandal-plagued in American history...and much of the trajectory to be in the favor of foreign powers...somewhat akin to treasonous acts.  But hey, at least we had a black guy as President...

Friday, December 01, 2017

Confirmed: Bike Shares Are Quintessential Lefty Idiocy

I have long maintained that "bike share" programs are the apotheosis of leftyism, as they are:
1)  monstrously wasteful
2)  a meaningless, symbolic gesture, not anything close to a real solution
3)  aimed at a problem that doesn't exist

When I lived in NYC, the Citi Bike program was so clearly asinine (Citibank marketing people told me, the known losses we're considered "advertising spend").  Now, I've in a small city run be lefties who copycat every last dumb idea of bigger cities, and we have LimeBike.  It too is asinine.

So, I take this to be massive vindication.

Thousands of share bikes laid to rest in the south-eastern Chinese city of Xiamen.