For much of the twentieth century the Left has placed a linguistic noose around the neck of the Right. Certain words having gained totemic power are never uttered. Other words, like ‘discrimination’ or ‘phobia ’ are distorted beyond their true meaning to support accusations of bigotry or racism. To be so accused is to be judged, convicted, and sentenced on the spot. Recently the noose has tightened so that many conservative points of view dare not be uttered else debate on the merits be forcibly shut down. In parallel there has been a marked increase in totalitarian government power: same-sex marriage mandated by the Supreme Court; the persecution of photographers for declining to participate in homosexual nuptials; women in combat roles; forcing schools to permit ‘trans’ boys to shower with girls athletic teams; possible Federal prosecution of the ‘deniers’ of climate-change orthodoxy.
In short the space in which ordinary Americans can speak and act has so shrunk that a powerful reaction has arisen. Conservative voices have self-censored; there has been no significant fighting back. Into this space Trump has stepped. His tough talk is needed to puncture lefty illusions. Regarding the Mexican border or trade treaties, his promises are seen as preserving the integrity of our traditional American culture and economy. His revolt is against all elites, not just the Republican party establishment. Trump is seen by his supporters as a positive, conservative force for restoring health to our sick, confused, feminized society. The more Big Media seeks to brand him as a brown-shirted neoNazi and inspires violent protests, the more his supporters see the need for a thorough cleansing of our Augean stables. Continue reading
The U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to repeal the Federal Death Tax, legally called the Estate Tax. Even if repeal passes in the Republican-controlled Senate, the President will veto it. Nevertheless the left has put itself into a rage. Their arguments against repeal are:
- Repeal would reward the wealthy and then only a very few
- It would punish the poor
- It would perpetuate a new aristocracy
- It would cost the Treasure and contribute to the deficit
- It would exacerbate income inequality
These are weak arguments. They reveal that liberals are envious and hateful, thus their tenacious support of this punitive, unusual, and very stiff tax. They are little concerned with fairness, equity, and the principle of even-handed justice when it comes to their enemies, the evil rich. To our mind, the fewer the people who must pay the estate tax, the more unfair it is. Even if it forces only a single family to sell a business or farm to raise the cash needed to pay the tax, it is discriminatory, punitive, and anti-American. The death of a family member is horrible; the insertion of the greedy hand of the tax man into this event is as unnecessary as it is unseemly.
A few more points. The estate tax is now at the confiscatory level of 40% with an exemption level of $5.43 million. Pace the left, it affects far more than the people who have to pay it, since the desire to avoid or minimize it costs many years of planning with expensive attorneys. How many people know when they are going to die and how much their business or farm will be valued at that time? These planning and other costs, which otherwise would have gone into growing a business, amount to a large percentage of the tax revenues gained. Thus this is an inefficient tax as well as an unfair one. While accumulating the estate paid tax upon tax; a new tax payable on death is unfair double taxation. The motivation for passing wealth on to children is a family value, as well as a great motivation for economic growth – resulting in increased tax revenues. This tax is anti-family. Inherited wealth and life insurance payments are generally not considered income at the Federal level, with the exception of tax-deferred retirement accounts. But if death is not a taxable event for inheritance, why should it be a taxable event for estates? Sweden and Norway, those bastions of progressivism, recently repealed their estate taxes. By liberal logic, should we not follow suit?
The only real question remaining is not why should the estate tax be repealed, but why the Republican Senate will not also vote to repeal? Perhaps for the same reason that ten Republican Senators voted today to confirm Loretta Lynch for Attorney General despite her support of Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions.
The big news from D.C. is the fight over funding the Federal Department of Homeland Security past the February 28 deadline. The House of Representatives passed legislation funding all of the Homeland Security Department, but prohibiting expenditures in furtherance of President Obama’s illegal executive actions creating amnesty. As this bill reached the Senate all 44 Democrat Senators and both of the two ‘Independents’ filibustered against it. Their action will effectively strip Homeland Security of all funding starting March 1. A minimum of five Democrats and one Independent had expressed concern over the illegality of the President’s amnesty. Yet despite their principled concern, they joined to form the 100% solid Democrat bloc. Details here and here.
This has happened time and again. Democrats act in unison, while Republicans almost never form a solid bloc. If there is to be compromise, the Democrats have the advantage. Ideally in compromise, each side brings forward the issues most important to it that might be acceptable to the other party. The result is a kind of win-win for the country. But when one party will not give in to the other, compromise means the Democrats get the permanent change they crave, while Republicans can barely manage to get something they want and then often only on a temporary basis. With the news media biased in favor of Democrats, they can now dishonestly claim regarding Homeland Security funding the Republicans are shutting down the government and perhaps win the opinion-poll wars. [See note 1 below.] Over time this leads to a ratcheting effect, with the Federal government drifting inexorably leftward. With a progressive President in power and the ability of the Federal government to bully states and localities by threatening to withhold Federal funding, we have a very dangerous situation. Congress should stand its ground.
In our view, the Republican Party needs to change. Not drastically, but substantially in several respects.