Needles, California last week

By John Ruberry

While I’m watching snow fall outdoors at Marathon Pundit world headquarters in Morton Grove, Illinois, the rest of my family is vacationing in southern California.

When they drove into California at Needles, just as the Joads did in The Grapes of Wrath, they were also greeted by more desert, as well as this 76 sign, which informs motorists that regular gasoline is selling for $3.79-a-gallon, more than a dollar above the national average.

Taxes are of course the reason and late last year the Tarnished State increased its gas taxes by 12 cents-a-gallon, to pay for road improvements.

California’s problems are vast. When the cost-of-living is figured in California suffers from the nation’s highest poverty rate. Modern day Joads are better off staying in Oklahoma. California’s roads are in bad shape because of onerous financial obligations in other parts of the budget. CalPERs, California’s public worker pension plan, is a sinkhole, so much so that Governor Jerry Brown is suggesting that pension benefits might be lowered–even for state workers currently paying into the program.

Another budget-buster is California’s high-speed rail project. Eight years ago voters approved the $40 billion project because government would pay for construction, which would make it “free.” Cost estimates for it have already climbed to $64 billion. If completed, and right now that might be stretch at best, it will run between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The relatively inexpensive segment where construction has begun, between Madera and Bakersfield, is already beset by delays, so much so that Victor Davis Hanson is musing that what little has been built could end up as nothing more than a modern Stonehenge. While the project is receiving federal funds, an increase of cash from Washington DC is not going to happen during the Trump presidency. So don’t count on a bailout, Californians.

Liberalism is expensive. And liberals love trains because, unlike cars and buses, they only go where there are tracks.

Moving up the Pacific Coast Highway into Oregon we learn that legislators are considering implementing an expensive cap-and-trade scheme that will punish large energy users, who are of course also large employers, in order to fight global warming. California has a cap-and-tax racket going already.  But there is some good news out of Oregon. Earlier this year, a new law took effect that allows drivers to fill up their own gas tanks–without an attendant. Of course some Oregonians freaked out, No, this was not an episode of Portlandia. Now only another coastal blue state, New Jersey, bans self-serve gas stations.

Blogger in Aberdeen, Washington

Heading north over the Columbia River into Washington, legislators in that blue state are debating a $10-a-ton carbon tax, one that a Democratic legislator who opposes it calls a “pretty sizable gas-tax increase.” Washington’s governor, Democrat Jay Inslee, who prefers a $20-a-ton tax, laughingly calls his plan a jobs creator.

The United States has much cheaper energy costs than Japan and most nations in Europe, which is one of the reasons, along with President Trump’s slashing of regulations–many of them involving energy–why the American economy is booming.

Does the West Coast want to be left behind as the rest of our nation enjoys prosperity? California, as it has been for decades for good and for ill, is already ahead of the curve.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Nation’s Top Two Problems per Gallup over the last 10 years

There are a lot of ways you can grade the 1st year of the Trump presidency USA today ran a piece giving him grades from A+ to F, but for my money the best way to see how the public grades this presidency is not a poll concerning this president’s approval but chart above showing Gallup’s polling of the nation’s top two problems over the least decade.

As you can see from these numbers over the last ten years the economy has been the #1 or #2 issue in the country every single year.

Not anymore.

According to Gallup after one year of Trump in the White House not only the Economy dropped to sixth (Jobs is 7th) but according to them you have to go back to 1999 to find a time when less people mentioned the economy as the country’s #1 problem.

And this is BEFORE the full effect of the Trump tax cuts that not a single democrat in either house voted for takes effect.

There are some people who think the GOP in general and Trump in particular are in trouble come November 2018.

After looking at those numbers I don’t.


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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

I’m pretty busy today working on the Trump Year one Lunch and Panel event in Leominster MA at noon today (you can still buy tickets here or at the door for $20 which includes an all you can eat buffet) so I don’t have a lot of time for a long piece on shutdowns, Tom Brady or even POTUS’ appearance at the March for Life.

Nevertheless I would like to take a few minutes before I get out of bed and have to be on overdrive for the next 12 hours to note that as President Trumps 2nd year begins and as everyone in media and government who predicted doom for Trump in both 2016 & 2017 continues to do so for him and the GOP in 2018 things continue to happen that favor the president.

ITEM: UNRWA funding cut in half, Terror supporters hardest hit.

As the leader of the Palestinian authority continues on anti-semitic rants (and is defended by the Sorus funded so called “Jewish” advocacy group J-Street as he does ) the US has decided to answer is the best way possible to show the old game of of pay and look the other way is done:

“There is a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of UNRWA, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded,” the official said.

The US had frozen a $125 million grant to UNRWA earlier this month, amounting to one third of the US annual aid to the organization. Part of the grant was unfrozen Tuesday.

The move follows tweets by US President Donald Trump in which he questioned the wisdom of providing hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority given their refusal to resume peace talks with Israel.

This is an amazing development.  Why it’s as if someone actually read the 1951 report back when UNRWA wasn’t a full employment scheme for cronies in and out of the middle east and and decided that ignoring this advice might not have been the best idea the US ever had.

Nobody but Trump would have dared do this.

ITEM: Common Core dies a Quiet Death.

Common Core has been a Tea Party issue since day one. GOP members have given lip service to reigning it in for years with little effect. On the Campaign Trail Donald Trump hit it hard but we heard little about it after he was elected but American Conservative has the transcript of Secretary Devos’ speech on the subject noting the failure of national standards both during the Bush years

President Bush, the “compassionate conservative,” and Senator Kennedy, the “liberal lion,” both worked together on the law. It said that schools had to meet ambitious goals… or else. Lawmakers mandated that 100 percent of students attain proficiency by 2014. This approach would keep schools accountable and ultimately graduate more and better-educated students, they believed.

Turns out, it didn’t. Indeed, as has been detailed today, NCLB did little to spark higher scores. Universal proficiency, touted at the law’s passage, was not achieved. As states and districts scrambled to avoid the law’s sanctions and maintain their federal funding, some resorted to focusing specifically on math and reading at the expense of other subjects. Others simply inflated scores or lowered standards.

And  Obama years

The Obama administration dangled billions of dollars through the “Race to the Top” competition, and the grant-making process not so subtly encouraged states to adopt the Common Core State Standards. With a price tag of nearly four and a half billion dollars, it was billed as the “largest-ever federal investment in school reform.” Later, the Department would give states a waiver from NCLB’s requirements so long as they adopted the Obama administration’s preferred policies — essentially making law while Congress negotiated the reauthorization of ESEA.

Unsurprisingly, nearly every state accepted Common Core standards and applied for hundreds of millions of dollars in “Race to the Top” funds. But despite this change, the United States’ PISA performance did not improve in reading and science, and it dropped in math from 2012 to 2015.

But the Donald Trump administration has had enough:

The trend line remains troubling today. According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress data, two-thirds of American fourth graders still can’t read at the level they should. And since 2013, our 8th grade reading scores have declined.

At HotAir Jazz Shaw notes the speech both for what it critiques and what it suggests as alternatives, namely allowing teaches to TEACH and comments thus:

Wouldn’t it be ironic if we actually made some significant strides forward in fixing our largely broken education system during this term, but had it sneak through under the radar while everyone else was busy screaming at each other about whether or not the President’s cholesterol level is too high? This was one of the better speeches on education that’s been given in a long time. The question is how much DeVos will be able to hammer through without politics poisoning the entire process.

But in the meantime, as far as Common Core goes… it’s dead, Jim.

I’m thinking more and more that it’s less a question of irony of these thing happening under the radar than by designed but no matter how it happens chalk this up to another campaign promise kept and another conservative priority handled.

Item:  More “crumbs” for the workers

Lost among the debate on if the President’s Doctor is a hack or not or the critical issue of if back when he was just a Billionaire Businessman he bedded a porn star, it seems that Apple had decided that to bring a ton of that money they had parked overseas back home.

Apple “anticipates repatriation tax payments of approximately $38 billion as required by recent changes to the tax law. A payment of that size would likely be the largest of its kind ever made,” the company said.
Using the new 15.5 percent repatriation tax rate, the $38 billion tax payment disclosed by Apple means they are planning a $245 billion repatriation.

and it looks like their existing employees are getting a cut of this too:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is giving many employees a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units, rounding out a series of investment announcements made on Wednesday.

The iPhone maker will start to issue stock grants to most employees worldwide in the next few months, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the situation. Earlier on Wednesday, Apple said it would inject $350 billion into the U.S. economy over the next five years, as a result of the tax cut signed by President Donald Trump, to fund a new campus, data centers and 20,000 new jobs. Apple will also pay a $38 billion repatriation tax, bringing roughly $252 billion in cash back to the U.S.

Representatives from Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“We estimate about 100,000 employees will benefit, which implies a $250m liability that will vest likely in 2 years,” said Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster.

I wonder if Nancy Pelosi will call this crumbs too Sarah Sanders sure thinks so.

Donald Trump reportedly isn’t all that popular in the tech left but I’ll wager the prospect of further bonus’ of this nature is and I suspect that this will be remembered come election day in 2018.

Combine all of these successes and more that I don’t have time to mention now with a Trump boom and the left shutting down government for the sake of illegal aliens and I think the trendlines for 2018 will continue to move in their new direction.


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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

Get your Tickets today!

You can still buy tickets for our President Trump a Year in Review and Looking Ahead event Jan 20th 2018 at the Tang Dynasty Restaurant in Leominster Ma. Click on the image to the left to get tickets via eventbrite.The event co-sponsored by the Worcester Tea Party comes with an All you can eat Chinese buffet served till 2:30 (drinks are on you) and will include an all star panel (moderated by DaTechGuy) including

Chip Faulkner of Citizens for Limited Taxiation
Dianna Ploss from the Boston Chapter of Act for America
Christopher Maider from the Meat and Potatoes Radio show
Mike LaChance from the Legal Insurrection blog

Tickets are available at the door or you can get them here.  Come on down and join us for a great meal and a great discussion.

The last thing mainstream media wants you to know is the country is doing very well economically. Stock prices are up. Lower tax rates means 164 major companies and rising have given back to their employees in the form of raises and bonuses. Jobless claims just hit a 45-year low.

Wait, you didn’t hear about that last item? That’s because mainstream media is virtually silent. They’re too busy talking about the President’s Tweets to spend any time reporting actual news.

U.S. Jobless Claims Plunge to Lowest Weekly Tally Since 1973

U.S. filings for unemployment benefits plummeted to the lowest level in almost 45 years in a sign the job market will tighten further in 2018, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

The most important factor during elections is the economy. More specifically, people vote based upon how well or poorly they and their families are doing financially. Unfortunately, mainstream media knows it’s not as simple as people checking their bank statements and counting their blessings. They can still be manipulated into believing they’re not doing as well as they really are or that the nation is on the verge of fiscal collapse based upon actions by the GOP and/or the President.

As a Federalist, I can say these things knowing I’m not spinning it in favor of the GOP. I’m not a Republican fanboy, but when things are going well based upon actions they are the Democrats take, it’s okay to give kudos. My allegiance is to the nation and the truth.

In this election year, the Democrats will utilize their puppets in the media to try to make as many people as possible believe things are really bad. It doesn’t matter that the economy is looking great. Perception trumps reality and mainstream media wants to change as many people’s perceptions as possible. We have to fight against that. Share news like this with as many people as you can. They need to know the truth to fight against the bias mainstream media tries to slap on them.

Jobs are coming back. Wages are going up. Taxes are going down. Consumer spending is at a pre-2007 level. The economy is looking poised to have a strong continuation in 2018 from the progress made in 2017. There are still many things that can derail it quickly, but the biggest risk is born from a hatred of Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Mainstream media knows a very important reality, as I detailed in my 2018 predictions. Perceptions play an important role in the strength or weakness of the economy. When the general sentiment among Americans is strong, the economy is strong as a result. When people are fearful, certain economic indicators stumble from the concern. That has been the nature of the economy for a few decades since mass media made news travel quickly and broadly. It’s a nature that works through or against self-fulfilling prophecies.

The other reality that mainstream media understands is most Americans make voting decision based upon personal prosperity. In the voting booth, they aren’t as concerned about Israel’s embassy, net neutrality, or obnoxious Tweets as they are the rest of the year. Their biggest concern is which candidate or party is going to make things better, easier, or both for the voter and their family.

Jimmy Carter didn’t just lose to Ronald Reagan. He lost to the poor economic conditions that ravaged the nation through his term. Bill Clinton didn’t beat Bob Dole just because the Republican was boring while the Democrat played the saxophone. He beat Dole because the economy was doing very well at the time.

It’s easier to see during presidential election years, but it’s still prevalent in midterm elections. We vote based upon how much is in our wallets.

Some may be balking right about now. If you’re reading this, you’re probably the exception. In fact, you’ve probably rarely if ever voted for a Democrat since this is a conservative blog with a generally conservative audience. Those on the ideological left and right don’t look at fiscal indicators. Then again, many of us don’t look at anything other than the letter next to the name of the candidate. We’re not the people who decide elections. The swing voters are, and they’re the ones who vote with their wallets. They’re also the target audience for mainstream media when it comes to swaying elections.

We can expect the media to continue their attacks on President Trump. It’s almost as natural for them as covering up for President Obama. The difference is in how they spin everything that happens with the economy. We’re already seeing this in the way they’re spinning reactions from corporate America to the tax cuts. As dozens of major companies started instantly giving extra money to their employees following passage of the tax cuts, mainstream media tried desperately to under-report the moves, or worse, to call them tricks by Trump-loving corporate America.

It’s only going to get more aggressive from here. In 2018, you will be hard-pressed to find any major and positive economic news on mainstream media outside of Fox News and WSJ that isn’t spun to somehow be a negative. When bad economic news comes along, the problem will be magnified and the message will be amplified.

This midterm election is vindication for the media… at least that’s what they hope. They can either prove they still have sway over elections or they will be proven powerless. The easiest way they can cheat their way into power is with Democratic victories. The easiest way for Democrats to win is for the media to declare doom and gloom over the economy. How the economy responds will be based upon whether or not people believe what they hear from the media or what they see in their bank accounts. Unfortunately, many will ignore the obvious for the sake of the left’s incessant narrative.

Major Pintz: These are today’s recruits, sir. Not much to pick from I’m afraid.
Col Klink: Well, as they say, beggars can’t be choosers. I’ll take them.
Major Pintz: Get these men uniforms, Sergeant, and have them report to me at once.
Sgt: Jawohl, Herr Major.
Col Klink: We are certainly scraping the bottom of the barrel these days.

Hogan’s Heroes The Swing Shift 1967

Over at Stacy McCain’s site there is yet another story of yet another one of the people I refer to as “Stacy’s Women” that is the various disturbed people that he regularly writes about:

OK, I’ll explain what and who inspired this rant. Rachel Sather graduated last year from CUNY-Hunter College. And she is crazy:

I’m very open about living with Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s a lot more common than people assume, with 1.6% of the general population living with BPD, most of whom are women. . . .
Between the psychotic episodes, addicting coping mechanisms, and the seemingly endless mental fog that comes with BPD, its incredibly difficult sometimes to maintain a healthy life. . . .
Thanks to social networks like Tumblr, there’s a whole network of bloggers that share their experiences with BPD. . . . The fact that I have learned more about my illness from Tumblr than someone with a Masters in psychology made me realize that not enough people were talking about it.

Great. You’re having “psychotic episodes” and “endless mental fog,” but you’ve got a college diploma and lots of friends on Tumblr. 

Now as a rule my only really interest in such people is that I pray daily for “Stacy’s Women” as a group on the 4th Glorious Mystery (and ask my late mother, mother in law & aunts to pray for them too) but it hit me today that while they may or may not be grateful for those prayers there is one person that Stacy’s women should be thanking their lucky stars for.

That person is President Donald Trump.

This might seem completely counter intuitive, after all President Donald Trump symbolizes all that they hate, but consider one of the facts of life.

In this modern world if you are looking for employment beyond something that involves the question “Would you like to upsize your combo meal?” you have to get past an HR department.

Now if you’ve graduated from a good college it’s very likely that your resume might be one of those flagged by a HR as one to check out.  But once your name is out of the pile, then comes the google search:

“Hello, world, I’m a queer who has psychotic episodes!” Is that how you want to introduce yourself to every stranger with an Internet connection? Are there actually people who could read that self-description without thinking, “Wow, better stay away from that weirdo”? And what about the ex-boyfriend with whom she had the “overall terrible experience”? Does he realize that Ms. Sather’s interest in him was “psychological attachment” symptomatic of her mental illness?

Y’know, some people had problems with sex before the Internet existed. They either solved their problems or they didn’t, but few of them advertised their problems to the entire world because (a) they didn’t have the means to do so, and (b) they weren’t completely crazy.

Now I can’t speak for HR departments everywhere but if you choose to advertise a bunch of personal problems, it’s not all that likely that HR and the manager looking to hire will be just dying to have you in for a chat.

And I haven’t even gotten started on the political stuff that screams to the corporate world that you are a lawsuit just waiting to happen.

However thanks to President Donald Trump Stacy’s Women have an ally that has the capacity to lessen if not cancel out all those legit worries. The Trump Economy!

In an economy with unemployment under 5% the labor market is tight. In an economy with unemployment under 5% AND growing at 3% or better that market is tighter.

Now picture an economy with unemployment under 5% that growing at 3% or better further stimulated by a corporate tax rate dropped by 40% to spur business growth and a drop in personal tax rates meaning that the average person has extra money to spend.  Like this:

CBS reported that Christmas sales reached $598 million this year, up $33 million over last year, for a 5.8% gain.

That is the biggest gain in Christmas sales in a dozen years.

And that’s not even considering what the ebbing of the flow of illegal immigrants does to said market.

In a labor pool where Kurt Schlichter’s “normals” are already snatched up everybody else gets a 2nd look.  Hey with a labor pool thin enough a college grad, even one with borderline personality disorder who has occasional psychotic episodes, not only avoids the circular file but might suddenly become a catch

It’s Donald Trump, not their liberal professors who will made this possible and every single one of these people who find themselves with a good job instead of manning a drive up window owe him a debt of gratitude that he will never collect.

Via Kirk’s Market Thoughts

Russ DeKuyper: You know how much I gotta make to keep $300 cash in our tax bracket? I gotta make 800, maybe $1000. That’s why I want that check. Now, you give me that $1000.
Archie Bunker: Why, you copper-plated phony, you. You’re money nuts. When this was just a raggy fur, you couldn’t care less about it. Now it’s $300, your whole world lights up.
Russ DeKuyper: You bet it does. You really bet it does. Three hundred bucks tax free is really illuminating.

All in the Family Edith gets a Mink 1972

We are hearing a lot of complaints from people like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi about the new Trump Tax law. I don’t blame them, it’s one more brick supporting the individual democrat welfare states removed.

Because of the deductablity of state and local taxes, when itemizing (which people of means generally do as they can almost always find more than the standard deduction in write offs) tax increases in state taxes and local taxes while annoying were not prohibitive for people living in high tax states. So when Democrats make pitches like this one described by Chris Christie back in 2012 while he was stumping in Atkinson NH…

35 years ago we didn’t have an income tax in NJ no income tax like right here in NH, we had no income tax and Governor Brendon Byrne, a democrat said: If you just give me a small income tax, a little one, I will lower your property taxes, we had the highest property taxes in America back in 1977 so 35 years later, what have we got? We’ve STILL got the highest property taxes in America and the income tax that started at 2% under governor Byrne is now 9%”

…they knew they could mitigate the effects for the rich who would be getting the biggest hit because that 2% tax which would became 9% along with those high property taxes they were already paying, would come right off their federal taxes.

Now think of states like California where all the celebs are all anti-trump all the time. If you are doing a TV series and making say $100K an episode. California’s 13.3% tax rate costs you $13,300 per episode, BUT because of federal deduction for state taxes, that adds up to 5253.50 right off the top of your federal tax bill.   Over a 26 episode season that’s $136,591 a year in taxes you aren’t paying to the feds.  It’s like getting paid for an extra episode tax free!

As Archie Bunker might say: “Dat ain’t happenin’ no more.”

Starting in 2018 California’s 13.3% income tax really costs 13,300 per $100,000 made and New Jersey’s 9% tax rate really costs 9000 per 100,000 and if you are a person with a Million dollar property a 5% property tax really costs $50,000 a year.

And it’s not just states, there are plenty of cities that have their own income taxes like Washington DC , Baltimore, Denver,  NYC,

And since the people getting these deductions are by nature the most mobile,  suddenly you have the prospect of the slow exodus of such people to low tax states and cities becoming a stampede that you have to somehow curb.

In other words you have to compete!

No longer will it be a gimme for liberals to buy off activists or pack state bureaucracies the feds aren’t going to subsidize these vote buying schemes anymore.

Now you have to give the voters a reason to stay while at the same time explaining to your base that if you don’t there will be no gravy train left to ride on.

This is why not a single Democrat voted for this tax bill, they knew that if it’s passed their overwhelming democrat legislature would face a day of reckoning.  That day has now arrived.

Welcome to the free market folks!

I should add one caveat to this.  All of these states and cities have one advantage that their worried counterparts in Germany and Australia don’t.  The Trump boom that these tax cuts will produce increased revenues that might, just might, give them enough wiggle room to make these needed changes to their tax codes over time and thus less painful.

But their window of opportunity is going to be a very slim one, will they open said window or push it closed and wait for these tax cuts expire?

Update:  I’ve gotten emails asking about NH & Tennessee listed as 5% & 6% respectively when they don’t have a state income tax, however both Tennessee and NH both tax dividend and interest income and thus those taxes would be deductible in the examples above, full details here.

Democrats nationally might still be in denial over the Trump Tax plan but I can name two countries that aren’t.  One is Australia: .

Australia must follow the United States in slashing corporate tax rates or risk losing jobs and investment to other parts of the world, the country’s top economic ministers have warned.

The federal government is restating its pitch to reduce the company tax rate for all businesses from 30 per cent to 25 per cent after similar moves in the US.

and the other Germany:

“The sharp reduction in the corporate tax rate will give the US a massive competitive advantage,” said Christoph Spengel, the corporate tax expert at the Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim. “Tax competition will get a new dimension with Europeans forced to compete among themselves.”

Wouldn’t it be something if the Trump Tax Law drops taxes worldwide and creates a global boom instead of just a US one?

The best way to descrive the effect of the tax cut bill that just passed will have on our already improving economy is to think of it as the difference between Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.

By any standard Ben Roethlisberger is a great quarterback. His stats are impressive. He has thrown for over 4000 yards five times, has thrown 25 or more touchdowns a season seven times, had seasons with a QB rating over 100 three times, thrown less than 10 interceptions a season 4 times. Counting this season He has led the Steelers to ten playoff appearances, seven division titles and two Super Bowls both wins.

Any competent list of elite NFL quarterbacks over the last decade includes him and in different era a credible case could be made for listing him as said era’s top Quarterback.

But unfortunately for Big Ben this isn’t another era. It’s the Tom Brady era and as excellent as Roethlisberger’s stats are they pale before Brady’s. Tom has thrown for 4000 or more yards 9 times (over 5000 in 2011) He has thrown 25 or more touchdowns 13 times (including 50 in 2007) , ha seasons with a QB rating over 100 6 times (three seasons over 110), thrown less than 10 interceptions a season 7 times (only 2 last year)

And of course counting this season Tom Brady has led the Patriots to the Division every single year (15 seasons years) but one (2002) and has taken his team to the Superbowl seven times winning five.

Or to put it another way. While Ben Roethlisberger is a great quarterback, a Hall of Fame Quarterback, a quarterback any team would be proud to have, he is not even in the same league as Tom Brady who is the greatest and most successful Quarterback to ever play the game.

What does that have to do with the Trump Tax plan? Just this.

The Obama Economy was, put simply a disaster:

The latest numbers mean that Obama’s economic forecasters missed their growth targets every year that he was in office. And, once again, economists who had been promising that strong growth was just around the corner — most recently because of a relatively strong third quarter — had to eat crow.

It also means that GDP growth has not exceeded 3% for 11 straight years. . . .

And despite th predictions of naysayers and experts galore:

Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama, told reporters earlier this year that the chances of reaching 3 percent growth over a decade were about 1 in 25 — which is what many political experts said was Trump’s chance of winning the election. Another Obama economist, Alan Krueger, called the 3 percent growth forecast “extremely rosy.”

Larry Summers, a top economic adviser to Obama, questioned the “standards of integrity” of the Trump economic team’s forecast for 3 percent (or more) growth. “I do not see how any examination of U.S. history could possibly support the Trump forecast as a reasonable expectation,” he wrote in The Washington Post.

It took Donald Trump less than one year to change this achieving the 3% economic growth that others have said was not possible

President Donald Trump’s goal of 3 percent growth has been realized in two of the three quarters since he took office, and economists say the trend can keep going for at least another quarter and possibly longer.

Third-quarter GDP grew by 3 percent, well above the 2.5 percent expected by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters and below the 2.8 percent in the CNBC/Moody’s Rapid Update. The third-quarter number comes on top of 3.1 percent growth in the second quarter, making for the best back-to-back quarters since 2014 and ending a long streak of sluggish 2 percent growth.

To put it one way. Trump’s first year Economic numbers are something to be proud of, particularly compared to Obama’s. Clearly above average and heading in the right direction. They are the Ben Roethlisberger of economic stats.

Now take that above average economy and add to it a tax plan that cuts corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% while cutting taxes on a resurgent middle class a package that produced this reactions from Germans:

“The tax competition will have a new dimension,” said Christoph Spengel, chairman of the corporate tax department at the University of Mannheim. Mr. Spengel, who is also a research associate at the Center for European Economic Research, and a group of tax experts at the university have done a detailed comparison of the two countries’ tax systems and published a report under the heading, “Germany loses out in US tax reform.”

Clemens Fuest, who heads the Ifo economic think tank, also said he believed German business would suffer. “Investments and jobs will migrate to the US,” he said.

Once the full effect of this tax bill hits we will go from a Roethlisberger economy to a Brady economy and leave that solid 3% growth in the dust.

Get ready folks, golden days are ahead.

Romney in Illinois, 2012

I’m not a big Mitt fan but if there was ever a time for the National GOP and Donald Trump to run a play out of the Mitt Romney playbook it’s this week.

The DESTROY US ALL caucus is already screaming about how this tax bill means we’re all going to die (which was true, no matter the result) and I’ve already noted that there is a provision for people to donate money to reduce the public debt.

But that’s not the same as paying a legal tax rate so I think the GOP and Trump should give the left a chance to really put their money where their mouths are by doing what Mitt Romney did in Massachusetts concerning taxes back in 2000.

When he reduced out tax rate from 5.85% to 5% the law allowed companies and individuals to pay the old tax rate and every year a few tax payers choose to do so. As the state puts it:

Taxpayers have the option to pay a higher tax rate on certain types of income. Taxpayers may pay 5.85% as opposed to 5.1% on the following types of income:

Form 1 or 1-NR/PY income after exemptions:
Form 1, Line 19 or

1-NR/PY, Line 23.
Schedule B interest and dividend income:
Form 1, Line 20 or

1-NR/PY, Line 24.
Schedule D net long-term capital gains: –
Schedule D, Line 20.

Since so many liberals are so upset over this tax bill I’d give them a similar out.

I would introduce a bill in the house allowing the old 35% tax rate to apply any corporation that wishes to pay it. Such a bill should fly though the house and the senate and would likely arrive on President Trump’s desk in time to sign with the 1st tax bill.

Such a law would be a great chance for Microsoft or Ben and Jerry’s or Amazon or any California and/or Hollywood corporation in terms of virtue signaling. With the check of a single box on their corporate tax returns they can make sure everyone knows just how much they really love america as opposed to those nasty conservatives. It’s virtue signaling at the absolute highest level possible.

And If I’m Donald Trump I’d make sure every single one of those corporations get a chance to do so every year or be called out every year if they don’t.

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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift for the person of faith on your Christmas list?