James Shott / November 1, 2016

The Campaign Hasn’t Exactly Focused on Important Issues

Here are two particular issues that should dominate.

Simply put, the 2016 presidential campaign hasn’t even begun to adequately address the issues and problems facing the United States. Yet the next president has a mountain of problems needing attention.

Americans are primarily concerned with the economy — their own budgets, jobs and prospects. Other important issues include national security, terrorism, immigration and the Supreme Court. We’ll focus on just a couple of those.

Looking at the economy and job creation, Trump has actually created tens of thousands of jobs through his hotels, golf courses and casinos — and created a few hard-working millionaires along the way. On the other hand, Clinton’s decades in the public sector leave her with no real experience in this important sphere. Her approach to jobs and the economy will rely on increased regulation and making the rich pay their “fair share.”

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) analyzed the Clinton plan and reports, “As currently presented, the Clinton tax proposals would increase taxes on high-income earners, reduce the exceptions to the corporate income tax, and increase estate taxes, in an effort to raise more revenue and bring greater equity to the current U.S. tax system. According to our NCPA-DCGE model, the plan would generate $615 billion in revenue over 10 years, with most of that increase coming from the federal personal income tax. The cost to the economy would be a net loss of 211,000 jobs by 2026, and a reduction in real GDP of 0.9 percent.”

Clinton regularly criticizes Trump’s tax-cutting policy, deriding it as “Trumped-up trickle-down,” a too-cute phrase and a horribly ignorant economic assessment. The NCPA explains why his idea will outperform Clinton’s: “Rather, insofar as tax cuts raise after-tax profits, they induce taxpayers to expand investment and, in so doing, wages, and jobs. Insofar as they raise after-tax wages, they induce taxpayers to enter the labor force and work longer hours. This is not the result of money ‘trickling down’ from one person to another but of the reduction of disincentives to invest and work that are inherent to any tax code.” Especially one that punishes people with the money to invest in job-creating economic activity.

Where the U.S. Supreme Court is concerned, it can cause great harm to the nation if justices stray from their constitutional limits, and they often do.

During the debates, Clinton gave the game away. “If I have the opportunity to make any Supreme Court appointments, I’m going to look broadly and widely for people who represent the diversity of our country, who bring some common-sense, real-world experience,” she said. Furthermore, she argued, “The Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy. For me, that means that we need a Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, that will stand up and say no to Citizens United…”

Her statements call for a completely unconstitutional role for the Supreme Court. The Court’s duty and function have nothing to do with ideas of diversity, or the supposed benefits of real-world experience. Its job is essentially to resolve legal disputes, ensuring always to uphold Rule of Law as explicated in the Constitution.

The Constitution is alive, but it is not a “living document,” the meaning of which would change with the winds of societal preferences. The Founders based the Constitution upon important principles that were intended for the ages. They understood that at some future point there may be a true need for modification, and they created a mechanism for doing so. That mechanism is not simply a majority of Supreme Court justices wanting to make a change; it is a clear and difficult process, difficult by design to prevent foolish modifications to satisfy some momentary desire.

There are essentially two approaches to how justices interpret the Constitution: conservatism/originalism, which honors and adheres to the actual language and original intent of the Constitution, and leftism, which is a willful misinterpretation of the language for some social or political end. The latter results in making law from the bench instead of in Congress, as the Constitution requires.

Packing the Court with justices who do not honor the original meaning of the Constitution in order to achieve some narrow ideological objective is a form of rebellious subversion, and Hillary Clinton is married to that goal.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has vowed to nominate judicial conservatives/originalists to fill Court vacancies.

Leftists like for things to be easy: easy citizenship; easy changing of the Constitution; easy to vote through early voting and doing so without a picture ID; and easy to live off of government support, rather than facing the rigors of a job; and so on. Such laxness and failure to uphold traditional standards also makes it much easier to turn America to liberalism/socialism through subversive measures than trying to persuade people to accept it. We must resist these efforts.

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