Friday, September 30, 2016

Comparing Trump & Hillary - Economy: Budget & Deficits

The budget and the debt just might be the single greatest advantage Trump has over Hillary.  Both candidates are making some hefty promises regarding certain issues that will cost the taxpayers a lot of money.

Hillary wants to push the healthcare button towards full and complete government run healthcare.  But she not only wants to push that button, she wants to include illegal immigrants into that equation as well.  Her solution to paying for this…as is the case with every liberal entitlement, by taxing the rich.  As though the rich will just keep paying more and more while getting less and less for their money.

Hillary also wants to make a college education free for all who want it.  This is yet another nine figure entitlement that will bankrupt this country.  And, of course, the rich will pay for this too.  Because the rich want to.

Trump also wants to revamp the healthcare programs.  He wants to get rid of Obamacare and push the healthcare industry back in the direction of free market competition.  He wants to allow for cross-state competition and to restrict lawsuits against doctors.  Thus lower costs for Americans.  He does want to try to extend our medicare program to those who have no group coverage and can’t afford health insurance.  But his solution to paying for it is to go hard after corruption and theft in the system and to inject competition into Medicare that would lower costs, thus opening the doors to paying for others to be a part of the Medicare system without raising costs.

Trump’s child care program is another that would cost money.  However, he is going into this with the idea of paying for it by finding waste and corruption in the current budget. 

Having read Martin Gross’ book, The Government Racket: Washington Waste A to Z, I can tell you unequivocally that hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved every year by simply imposing a simple rule on the federal budget.  It’s called the Zero Base Budget rule.  It requires every department and agency in the government to start from zero every year when submitting their budget requests. 

Let me explain by telling you what happens now.  As a particular budget year comes to an end, agencies and even individual congress persons rush to spend the budget they were given that year.  You hear about, for example, congressional overseas trips at the end of the budget year.  These are done a simple reason: they want to make sure they spend all that was budgeted to them.  The reason for this is that when they submit their budget request for the following year, all they have to do is show they spent their entire budget the previous year and thus all they need to do is ask for some percentage increase.

They don’t have to justify the increase except by showing they spent everything the year before.  It doesn’t matter whether they actually need the increase.  They’ll just take it. 

Every agency does this.  Imagine the Department of Agriculture requesting an additional $200m to build a new Midwest office for their Dept.   The next year, with the building complete, they show that they spent their entire budget the year before and request an automatic increase of 10%.  It doesn’t matter that they don’t have to spend $200M on a new building this year.  There is no justifying the increase.  They just get the increase.

A Zero Based Budget would require each department and agency and congress person justify their budget requests each year.  It is estimated that using a ZBB on the federal budget would save between $50B and $500B/per year.  And that compounds because every year the ZBB prevents an agency or department from just automatically increasing their budget saves exponentially.

Combined with millions more jobs contributing to the treasury with taxes, the better trade deals that benefit Americans and also increase the treasury, negotiating contracts to build what we need at a reasonable cost and more, this is how Trump plans on balancing the budget while still doing so much to rebuild our country. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Comparing Trump & Clinton: Economy - Trade

One of Barack Obama’s last attempts to destroy America’s greatness economically is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Like NAFTA before it, the left, and Hillary, will argue that this is the evolution in global economics.
Hillary Clinton once endorsed the TPP as the ‘gold standard’ for global trade.  While she argued in the debate that she didn’t call it the ‘gold standard’, but only ‘hoped’ it would be, fact checks show she did actually call it the ‘gold standard’.
And as Trump has said, once he pointed out the huge problems with the TPP, she changed her tune.
“I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages – including the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, she said at a campaign stop in Ohio back in August. “I oppose it now.  I’ll oppose it after the election.  And I’ll oppose it as President.”
So did Clinton flip on TPP? Context is key.
The deal would be the largest multilateral trade agreement ever negotiated, involving the U.S., emerging economies such as Vietnam and traditional trading partners including Japan, Canada and Mexico. It’s a major priority for the Obama administration, which sees the deal as key to cementing the president’s so-called pivot to the Asia-Pacific region. Obama hopes to persuade lawmakers to ratify it before year’s end, but Clinton’s opposition now exemplifies the political difficulty.
As a member of the Obama Cabinet in his first term, Clinton carried out the president’s priorities. Speaking on a trip to Australia in 2012 as negotiators from the partner nations were still deep in negotiations, she outlined the goals for it.
“This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field,” she said then1.
Since TPP is still in negotiation stage, we’ll leave judgment of it for later.  However, it is worthy to note that Trump has clearly suggested that Clinton would backtrack on her rejection of it once in office.  Of this, I have no doubt.  She will suggest that whatever concerned her during the campaign has been resolved and she’ll be right back on the trail of being a globalist.
And there in lay the fundamental difference between what Hillary wants to do in trade deals vs. what Donald Trump wants to do.  All Hillary’s trade deals will be rooted in her belief and goal for a global economy run by a global government for global purposes.  As, with Barack Obama, Clinton’s interests lay first with the global community and somewhere down the line with the United States.
This is not to suggest she hates the United States.  Nor does Barack Obama, for that matter.  What they hate is how the United States, as it is now, stands in the way of the global progress, they and their global financiers desire.  They want the US to prosper, but under a global umbrella. 
Let me explain with a little more local example.  Before the 17th Amendment was ratified, Senators were appointed by State Legislatures.  Now, of course, they are elected in general elections by the people.  You may wonder why that’s such a bad thing.  After all, isn’t it always better for the people to do the voting? 
Yes and no.  In the case of the United States, our Constitution was designed to spread out and separate powers.  The people’s representatives were elected every 2 years into the House of Representatives.  The States were represented by the appointment of two Senators.  And the Nation was represented by the President through the electoral college process.
All were either directly or indirectly voted on by the people.  We’re all well aware that the president isn’t always elected by the popular vote.  And, in fact, the so-called will of the people could be set aside, by the Constitution, through the electoral college.2
With the State Legislatures appointing Senators, they were assured that the interests of the State will represented in Congress.  If it weren’t the Legislature could simply recall the Senator.  Now, no matter what the Senator does, so long as he can convince the majority of state voters (usually the one with the most money) then they can keep their jobs.
This is exactly what is happening with trade agreements like TPP and other agreements.  The global community is slowly forming their own version of the United States.  And the United States is slowly, with the aid of globalists like Obama and Clinton, just becoming another state in that global union.
Donald Trump looks at trade not from a globalist’ perspective, but from a nationalist’s perspective.  He understands that we are involved in a global economy.  We have been for much longer than any of us have been alive.  But when Donald Trump goes out to negotiate a trade deal he’s going out first as an American.  Making sure that deal benefits us, our economy, our workers, our businesses and our people is most important to him.
Does he care about the global economy?  Absolutely.  He knows that a strong global economy aids Americans.  But to him, that is secondary to making sure that we come first.
When he threatens tariffs, he does so, not because he wants to raise prices for products Americans buy, but because sometimes tariffs are necessary to show our trade partners that we are not happy with an unfair trade deal and we’re not playing games.3
The argument some have against tariffs is legitimate.  If not used wisely, it could cause a ripple of negative financial effects.  But when it comes right down to it, are you more at peace having a businessman in charge of our trade negotiations or would you rather have a globalist politician in charge?

    3. Tariffs would be necessary in some cases “because they have to understand that we’re not playing games anymore,” – Tampa, FL rally August 24, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Comparing Trump and Clinton: Economy - Taxes

I created a blog back in 2008 during the first Obama election, which I affectionately called Sensible Conservatism.  The meaning of the name was just this: that while I view all issues through the prism of conservative principles, I am not so pig-headed that I automatically reject something a liberal might say just because they’re liberal.  A wise person will listen to all positions and make his decisions off of all the information. Does that make me right all the time?  Goodness no.  But when sensibility is applied to these discussions, I believe right answers and solutions are found far more often. 

I had pretty much abandoned this blog in 2014 leading up to the last midterms.  But I think this is the right time to bring it back out.
Having been a trained debater, I have to tell you that watching the first presidential debate was torturous.  It was so painful because I could tell that Clinton was the more trained debater.  And yet, having researched the issues so thoroughly, it was even more painful because I knew the right way to respond to her plethora of lies and assertions and yet Trump was, for the most part, not responding well.

That being said, I found it quite intriguing that virtually every snap poll showed Trump winning the debate.  After the surprise and relief subsided I began to wonder how he won so decisively.  And it came down to two issues.  One, that Hillary Clinton is an icon of all that we voters have come to despise about Washington D.C.  And two, that despite her better presentation skills, she still can’t sell her ideas to us.

So I have decided that I wanted to start a process whereby we can study the differences between Trump and Clinton on many of the issues. After all, there are still some people on the fence and we have six weeks to bring them onto our side of the fence.

Let’s begin with the economy.  This subject would include such issues as jobs, taxes, trade, the deficit and the debt.

Let’s be clear about one thing first.  Both candidates…for that matter, all of us…have to accept that the rich have the money and our common goal is for us to find ways to get them to distribute that money to the rest of us.  The difference between Clinton and Trump is in how to get them to distribute it.

To be clear, let me just point out that there are really only three fundamental ways to get money from the rich: 1) they invest it in something like their own business, other businesses, the stock market, whatever…and thus that money is injected into the economy.  Even investing it into a bank, injects it into the economy. 2) they spend it.  In spending it, even on what you or I would consider a luxury item like a yacht, they are injecting it into the middle class.  The person who sold them the yacht.  The company who many the yacht hired employees.  The companies that made the parts that make the yacht hire employees.  The company that transports the yachts hires people.  The companies that repair the yachts hires people. And so on.  3) Its either taken from them or they give it away.  They can donate it to charities and in that case, it gets to the people who need it with few middle men or someone takes it like a thief.  And I would venture to say that we’ve become numb to the idea that even taxation is little more than legalized theft.

To Clinton and the leftists like her, the best way to get the rich to distribute money to the rest of us is to have the government take it from them and let the government decide how to best distribute it to us.  That’s nice, but it has several negative effects.  First, the rich, as any of us would do if the government tried to confiscate our money, will try every means of preventing the government from taking their money.
They will find loopholes in tax laws.  They will move their money to other countries where the tax laws are less intrusive. They’ll set up trusts and foundations.  There are hundreds, if not thousands of ways to shelter their money from the government.  Why do they do that?  The obvious reason is that they, like the rest of us, don’t want anyone just taking their money.  And if someone does take their money, they’d like some say so in where it goes.

The end result of this is that it stifles job growth…except for jobs that the government pays, or helps pay, for.  Any growth in the economy occurs where the government wants it to grow…not necessarily where we want it to grow or where it should grow.

Second, when the government gets involved in controlling more and more of the economy, that’s when these artificial bubbles develop and when they burst, we’re all hurt.  And what happens when they burst?  The government steps in as some sort of faux white knight to rescue us and ends up taking more control over even more of our lives.

From my experience, the government does this through three means: 1) economic disasters, 2) wars, and 3) health crises. And we keep falling for it.
Trump, on the other hand, advocates what those on the left have disparagingly called “trickle down economics”.  It is what is more technically known as “supply side economics”.  The basis of all capitalism is supply and demand.  And that’s what Trump advocates for.

In his plan, he lowers taxes on businesses primarily.  Why?  Because when taxes (and regulations) are lowered on businesses, their cost of doing business lowers.  The Hillary’s of the world will suggest that’s bad because they fear that business owners will greedily take that extra cash and hoard it and keep it for themselves.  And perhaps some will.

But the theories of supply side economics suggest that a vast majority of those business owners will re-invest that cash back into their business.  There is a simple reason most people go into business for themselves.  They know that the simple rules of economics suggest that if they can successfully leverage other people’s labor, cash and assets, that they can exponentially grow their own wealth.

The Hillary’s of the world think that’s just evil.  Ironically, that’s exactly what government does as well.  But somehow it’s evil when individuals do it for business purposes, but not evil when the government does it. 

But when individuals and businesses do this, it creates jobs.  And every new job creates more demand…for one product/service or another.  Which creates more jobs and more demand. And what happens with every demand?  A purchase and a local tax is paid.  And what happens with every new job?  Taxes are paid to the state and the feds. And when those businesses successfully leverage other people’s labor and cash and assets, what happens?  They make more profits, which are, of course, TAXED.

So, in the end, the money that the wealthy possessed STILL ends up in the government’s hands.  Except instead of the government simply confiscating it, it goes through millions upon millions of middle class hands on its way to the government. 

There is the appearance that the burden was upon the middle class to pay those taxes.  But who really paid them?  The money still came from the rich.  But instead of running those sticky government hands first, it goes through our hands first before it gets to the government.

Simple question…which would you prefer?

But I’m not done, nor is Trump’s plan.  Once money gets into the hands of individuals, there are individual taxes to pay.  In Trump’s plan, he lowers the overall rate of taxation down to three brackets.  In addition, he raises the threshold on how much someone can earn and NOT pay taxes (aside from FICA). 

The part of this that Hillary attacks is the lower tax bracket for the wealthy.  There’s only one problem with her complaint.  In lowered the bracket, Trump is proposing virtually eliminating tax loopholes for the wealthy.  Without the loopholes, there’s no game of hide and seek played by the wealthy with their money.  They earned money?  Here’s the tax rate for it. 

Tomorrow, I will address trade and its effect on jobs and the economy.  If there is a subject you wish to read about, let me know.