A Challenge to the GOP from Bernie Sanders: Put Up or Shut Up on Capitalism

Originally published at International Liberty - Ed.

While his policy ideas are horrifying, Bernie Sanders’ campaign is the source of some amusement.

He claims to represent a different vision, but his voting record according to the National Taxpayers Union is virtually identical to the ratings received by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton when they were in the Senate.

He’s not even a real socialist, at least if we use the technical definition of this poisonous ideology, which is based on government ownership of the means of production. That being said, Democratic operatives such as Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sound like fools on TV because they don’t even know the difference between genuine socialism and big-government redistributionism.

The Speaker of the House and The President: A Working Relationship


Silly season is heating up, what with the first Democrat debate tomorrow in Las Vegas (could the party of flash-without-substance have chosen a better city? I mean, really), and with Donald Trump still somehow appealing to people who self-identify as conservative. With respect, you people need to wrest control of that anger for a minute — do whatever you have to do — and do some reading on the principled “conservative” you scream is the only man for the job. Because, and again, I’m not trying to turn anyone off or be harsh, you are starting to look a bit foolish.

As Trump knows, money talks — and Trump has given more than $100,000 to the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees. In 2006 — the year Democrats took back Congress — he gave $25,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (while his son Donald Trump Jr. gave $22,500). They gave Republican committees just $1,000 that year.

In other words, Trump wanted Nancy Pelosi to be speaker of the House and Harry Reid the Senate majority leader.

Which is not surprising. At the time he made those contributions, from August 2001 to September 2009, Trump was a registered Democrat. (He had been registered in New York first as a Republican, then a member of the Independence Party, then a Democrat, then a Republican again, and then became unaffiliated.)

CFPB Proposal Could Regulate Small-Dollar Lenders Out of Existence


A federal government agency is set soon to decide that it will protect consumers of short-term loans by regulating out of business many of the credit products that low-income and middle class Americans commonly use. Many American use payday loans and title loans offered by small-dollar lenders to meet short-term financial needs, and new regulations proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) threaten to put these providers out of business.

The CFPB is an out-of-control federal agency, created under the Dodd-Frank Act, that has authority to regulate a wide variety of financial services. The new regulations it proposes will apply to payday loans, vehicle title loans, deposit advance products, and other credit products typically offered by small-dollar lenders.

On March 26, 2015, the Richard Cordray, the Director of the CFPB announced “today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it is considering proposing rules that would end payday debt traps by requiring lenders to take steps to make sure consumers can repay their loans. The proposals under consideration would also restrict lenders from attempting to collect payment from consumers’ bank accounts in ways that tend to rack up excessive fees.”

With Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama Victim of His Own Lies


Though the talking heads in the media are focused on the intra-party leadership fight following the unexpected and sudden resignation announcement of House Speaker John Boehner, Democrats have an internal battle of their own going on.

On Monday, the United States and Japan, along with ten other North American and Pacific Rim nations (Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, and Vietnam - which together comprise 36% of the Earth’s global domestic product), concluded negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade agreement that seeks to facilitate greater trade among these nations by reducing tariffs and other barriers to trade.

The negotiations, ongoing for the last decade, produced an agreement with mixed results for American interests. For example, U.S. negotiators claim the pact will strengthen intellectual property rights (which will benefit American pharmaceutical and technology companies) and open up foreign markets to American agricultural and dairy products. However, it would also reduce the duration that companies have market exclusivity for their products before they compete with generics.

Sprint’s Decision To Skip Wireless Auction “Highlights The Folly” Of Federal Hubris


Few industry analysts seemed surprised when Sprint’s new CEO announced “after thorough analysis” that the company won’t participate in next year’s auction of TV broadcast spectrum (known as the “incentive auction”). Analysts already knew that Sprint “has the spectrum it needs to deploy its network architecture of the future.” As a senior telecommunications analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence said in response to the news, “Sprint really has a lot more spectrum than its rivals, so they don’t have that pressing need to get more.”

Oregon Shooting — Ignoring Evil Doesn’t Make It Go Away


It’s easy to appreciate President Obama’s frustration and sadness over the shooting at a community college in Oregon yesterday. He’s right: it’s become all too routine, feeling the shock and sadness at the evil that grips a man and convinces him to take so many innocent lives with him as he shuffles off his own mortal coil. And this Mercer kid — this loner, malcontent, wastrel — must have known his act would lead to his own demise, if not immediately, then somewhere down the road. And so it did. And good riddance to him. The world is better off without his addition to the darkness. And as we all, I hope, find ways to help that Oregonian community heal, there’s something important to remember. Something our president, and his minions in the press, seem to have forgotten:

This boy, this evil man-child and whatever demons haunted him (be they emotional, ideological, familial or whatever), are responsible for what happened. The plot was hatched in his head, the triggers were pulled by him. So it is disheartening to see so much effort in the immediate aftermath toward placing the blame pretty much anywhere else.

Trump’s Tax Plan Not Grounded in Reality


Donald Trump, the brash, politically incorrect, self-promoting billionaire businessman turned politician has, in defiance of all political wisdom, rocketed to the top of the polls by tapping into the frustration and anger of the conservative base, which feels betrayed by GOP leadership’s absolute refusal to fight Obama’s lawless actions.

However, he has increasingly received criticism for his bumper-sticker sloganeering brand of campaigning, which has been long on chest-thumping but short on specifics. In response, Trump released recently his income tax reform plan.

From a broad-strokes perspective, there is much to like about Trump’s plan; the elimination of the marriage penalty and the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax), the elimination of loopholes and deductions, the elimination of the death tax, a reduction in the number of tax brackets and a lowering of the rates (four brackets of 0%, 10%, 20%, and 25%), and a steep reduction in the corporate income tax rate to 15% (a great way to encourage investment in U.S. companies, which now bear the burden of the highest corporate tax rate in the world).

Trump’s plan would also require American multi-nationals to repatriate their offshore capital, encouraged by a 10% repatriation tax rate.

However, as with everything in life, the devil is in the details.

We Should Defund Planned Parenthood, But Not Over Abortion


In case the headline wasn’t clear enough, this post is not about abortion. That sentence may be the only time I use the word at all. But this is definitely about Planned Parenthood and why it should not be federally funded, regardless of what goods or evils it may provide.

Planned Parenthood Federation for America, Inc. is a 501c3 tax-exempt non-profit corporation, so it doesn’t pay any income tax on its revenue or profits like most other private health care providers do. It received a total of 1.3 billion in revenue in the most recently reported year, 2013. Just under half of that was from government funding, $528 million.

So not only is Planned Parenthood not paying any taxes, they’re also receiving almost half their total income from your tax dollars. There’s a term for this (and no, it still has nothing to do with the “A” word). It’s corporate welfare.

Obamacare Becoming a Blue-state Money Laundering Scheme?


Image courtesy of the WSJ.


Are some Democratic-leaning “blue” states cashing in on the failure of their state-run Obamacare health care exchanges? Based on a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Daily Caller reports that Obamacare is perhaps fast becoming a money laundering scheme. The 15 states that have created exchanges, most of which failed, were examined in the GAO report.

The GAO report, analyzed by Americans for Tax Reform, illustrated that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reviewed the state-based exchanges in 15 states and found serious operational deficiencies. In the instances of Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada and Oregon, the sites were unable to enroll customers during the first enrollment period for Obamacare. Several of the state-based exchanges have been closed, and those states have reverted to the federal HealthCare.gov exchange instead. Yet the GAO reports that only $1 million of the $4.5 billion spent on the state-based exchanges has been reimbursed to the federal government.

Boehner Resigns, Unifies Right and Left in Celebration more than Pope Francis

Something has happened this morning that we have not seen in a long age - conservatives and liberals are united. No, they’re not all celebrating Pope Francis’ message of unity and equality, though there’s some of that, and the papal visit is related. No, what has brought both sides together is the announcement that Speaker John Boehner will resign both his leadership position and House seat at the end of this October.

Apparently speaking to the Pope yesterday moved Boehner so much that he has decided to step down. And who can blame him? Since his ascendancy after Republicans took back the House in 2010, there have been constant calls for his replacement. He’s been called a RINO, a sell-out, a stand-in for the real Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and worse. Conservatives never supported him strongly enough (though most kept reelecting him to the position), and Democrats opposed him on nearly everything.

Boehner was also constantly mocked for his emotional rawness. But again, who can blame him? He’s in awe of his country, his government, despite its flaws, and his position within it. I well up every time I hear the Star-Spangled Banner at a sporting event. I can’t imagine being elected to a government position by your fellow citizens and feeling the overwhelming responsibility and trust that entails.


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