IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Republicans introduce good immigration reform, aiming for high-skilled entrants.
- Al Gore’s hypocrisy is nothing new — his Nashville mansion still devours energy.
- Tax reform may be coming from the GOP Congress. Why that’s needed.
- Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” —George Washington (1783)
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump and Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) announced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. Trump said the legislation “would represent the most significant reform to our immigration system in a half a century.” The measure would dramatically change the primary basis on which new immigrant applicants are evaluated. The U.S.‘s current immigration system favors family ties and connections; under the new reforms the emphasis would shift to one of “merit-based” considerations.
National Review’s Robert VerBruggen explains, “It would end the diversity lottery and preferences for family members aside from spouses, minor children, and elderly parents in need of care. And it would put those seeking green cards on the basis of employment — 140,000 of which would be available annually, the same number as today — through a new point system similar to those used in other developed countries.” That point system would evaluate “their level of education, their English fluency, their age (with ten points for those 26 to 30 and zero points for those 50 and up), and the salary they’ve been offered.” The one downside is that it deliberately reduces the number of immigrants, which is odd if we’d be getting more desirable immigrants.
Trump added, “As a candidate, I campaigned on creating a merit-based immigration system that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers and that’s why we are here today.” He further stated that the new measure would “reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars.”
As night follows day, the RAISE Act has already started to received blowback from not only Democrats and their open-borders cohorts in the mainstream media but from several Republicans as well. It’s probably fair to say the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare had a better chance of passing than does the RAISE Act. While it is almost certain that the proposed legislation in its current form will not reach Trump’s desk, it does afford him the opportunity of the bully pulpit to lay the groundwork for initiating the process of sensible immigration reform, a major issue of his campaign platform.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose — that’s the French phrase for “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Such is the case for Al Gore. In 2007, Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize for his first propaganda documentary effort, “An Inconvenient Truth.” He then pontificated, “The only way to solve this [environmental] crisis is for individuals to make changes in their own lives.”
Well, at the time we discovered that Gore’s massive 10,070-square-foot Colonial-style Nashville mansion consumes 20 times more electricity than the average American home. (He owns two other homes, too.) After getting blasted for such hypocrisy, Gore at least feigned efforts to mitigate his energy-hogging ways, installing solar panels and geothermal heating and making other costly “green” renovations that only elitists like Gore can afford. His 33 solar panels cost an estimated $60,000, for example, and yet they provide less than 6% of his monthly energy use. The geothermal heating system was even pricier at an estimated $90,000.
Just in time for the release of “An Inconvenient Sequel,” we learn that Gore’s efforts didn’t change much since 2007. In fact, the Gore Palace consumes more energy than it did a decade ago. According to the National Center for Public Policy Research, “Gore guzzles more electricity in one year than the average American family uses in 21 years.” Some months it’s far higher. “In September of 2016, Gore’s home consumed 30,993 kWh in just one month — as much energy as a typical American family burns in 34 months.” In fact, Gore uses enough electricity just heating his pool to “power six average U.S. households for a year.”
Drew Johnson, the author of the report, highlighted the rank hypocrisy: “It makes you wonder if he believes what he’s actually saying. Here’s a guy who’s basically exploited concerns about the environment to make $300 million dollars and win the Nobel Prize. It makes you wonder what his real agenda is.”
Johnson is deliberately understating the point. We don’t wonder what Gore’s real agenda is, because it’s obvious: vastly increase the power of government all while cashing in on a “crisis.”
Illegal immigrants cost taxpayers nearly $750 billion over lifetime. (The Washington Times)
Report: “Fiscal drain” of illegal immigrants is six times the cost of deportation. (Washington Examiner)
James Comey gets $2 million book deal, with publication set for next spring. (Associated Press)
Wassermann Schultz apparently planned to pay House IT suspect in Pakistan. (The Daily Signal)
Purge: McMaster fires two Bannonites on National Security Council. (Hot Air)
It’s on: Trump signs Russia sanctions bill, but promises fight over enforcement. (Hot Air)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: Trump is an “incompetent player” who will be “liquidated” by the U.S. establishment. (Washington Examiner)
Fifth Trump judicial nominee confirmed, outpacing Obama, Bush. (Fox News)
ACLU sues GOP governors over troll-blocking on social media. (Hot Air)
Transgender activists are seeking to undermine parental rights. (The Daily Signal)
Policy: A workable balanced budget amendment. (Investor’s Business Daily)
Policy: For pro-growth tax reform, expensing should be the focus. (The Heritage Foundation)
For more, visit Patriot Headline Report.
Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Caroline Camden Lewis
Trivia question: Whose idea was it to tax people at different rates based upon their income? Answer: Karl Marx, as in the father of Marxism, the ideology adopted worldwide by totalitarian communist regimes that are responsible for the murder of more than 100 million people in the 20th century alone. In his 1848 “Communist Manifesto,” Marx outlined the basic tenets of communism. Tenet One: abolish private property. Tenet Two: Establish a progressive income tax. Why? Because whatever you cannot confiscate in land, you can confiscate in income.
Thus, the graduated income tax finds its roots in the Marxist/Leninist/Communist concept of wealth redistribution. In Marxist theory, the land and money seized by the government would be given back to “the people.” In reality, the Soviet government seized the land and money and kept it for elitist government bureaucrats.
The U.S. adopted the graduated income tax as the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913 (though some scholars claim it was never officially ratified). The same Soviet dynamic actually happens in our country today. Unaware of who is really getting the money, people think that high taxes are good for the poor and needy. Yet the elitist government bureaucrats benefit the most. Hopefully that can change.
Last week, a joint statement by House and Senate leaders, the Treasury secretary and the National Economic Council director declared their commitment to tax reform. They stated that the mission of the forthcoming legislation is to “protect American jobs and make taxes simpler, fairer and lower for hard-working American families.”
When the tax system burdens its citizens and business owners while disincentivizing basic things like hard work and saving, this lowers risk-taking entrepreneurship and discourages investing. All in all, a country that doesn’t work hard, doesn’t save, doesn’t create businesses and doesn’t invest in businesses doesn’t have much of an economy, does it? Tax reform measures could restore economic strength to American families and businesses.
The joint statement continues: “There should be a lower tax rate for small businesses so they can compete with larger ones, and lower rates for all American businesses so they can compete with foreign ones.” Furthermore, the objective is to create “a system that encourages companies to bring back jobs and profits trapped overseas.”
The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate of any Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) industrialized country. When combining the federal and state corporate income tax rates, the average is over 39%. The average of other OECD developed nations is 25%. The high corporate tax rates force companies to move abroad in order to make their business profitable. A lower rate would encourage them to stay here, which would improve our economy and create American jobs, not overseas jobs.
The joint statement also prudently rejects two tax options: a domestic consumption-based tax and a Border Adjustment Tax. A consumption-based tax comes in various forms but essentially is a higher sales tax (like the Value Added Tax or VAT tax prevalent in the European Union). Ideally, a consumption-based tax would shrink the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and appears to be more fair, because all people have to pay taxes. The problem faced by other countries that have adopted this system, however, is that they create or raise a sales tax but never really get rid of the income tax — which means citizens get doubly taxed.
The statement also rejected the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) that taxes imports, but not exports. In theory, this would incentivize American people to buy American-made products. In reality, everything imported would cost 20% more and would ultimately cost our economy jobs and businesses, according to the National Retail Federation.
Critics of tax cuts claim that our country would not receive sufficient tax dollars to then contribute to the debt. However, these critics fail to see that the deficit is directly related to spending. According to the Congressional Budget Office, tax revenues (i.e. money collected) are above their historical averages. The Heritage Foundation puts it succinctly: “Washington has a deficit and debt problem because it spends too much, not because it collects too little in taxes.”
Despite the failures of ObamaCare repeal, Republican tax reform has a high likelihood of happening in some form. While most bills require 60 votes and can be filibustered, there is an exception for budgetary bills called “reconciliation procedures.” This only requires a simple majority in both the House and Senate with a signature from the president, which means that passing tax reform under reconciliation could actually happen.
The Marxist graduated income tax was intended to destroy property, money and private businesses. Unless we realize that our burdensome tax system still intends to do the same thing, we will be at a loss. The good news is that our Republican Congress appears committed to reform. If they would lower tax rates for families and job-creating American businesses under reconciliation, that would be a win for the American people and for the economy.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- Twilight of the (Elitist) 'Gods’ — “Newsflash to the Beltway establishment: Americans who elected Trump do not worship the current gods of the city.”
- How to Get Congress Moving on Health Care Reform — Congress is immune to ObamaCare’s financial squeeze. Trump can change that and get health care reform rolling.
- Are North Korea and Iran Working Together? — Kim launches another missile and sends official to Iran, while Iran blasts the U.S. for breaking the nuclear agreement.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Veronique de Rugy: Oops, Republicans Did It Again
- Tony Perkins: Coast Guard Fails to Buoy Trans Cause
- Victor Davis Hanson: The Problem of Competitive Victimhood
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Tony Perkins: “Ask a liberal how Obama’s [transgender] policy actually improves readiness, and they’ll respond one of two ways: with a personal story or a personal attack. Why? Because there hasn’t been a single scientifically based, rational military argument for it. Without psychology, top brass, or even popular opinion on their side, the Left resorts to a tired playbook — distractions and name-calling. … This isn’t a civilian office, where work can afford to take a backseat to sensitivity. It’s a warzone. If we care about national security, why would we waste resources, money, and training time on a pride parade for the mentally unstable? Political correctness doesn’t save lives in a battle with ISIS. Only an efficient, highly trained, mentally fit force can.”
Insight: “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.” —Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Political futures: “For all of the GOP’s deriding of Democrats over the years for being ‘tax-and-spenders,’ the sad reality is Republicans are on their way to earning the same label. We might only be six months into the return of Republican rule, but it’s already looking as if this second go-round of Republican control in Washington this century could end up being as disastrous — if not more — than the first one. But as the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. I don’t intend to be fooled twice, and I hope I’m not alone.” —Veronique de Rugy
Non Compos Mentis: “One can’t be sure if withdrawing the white man’s vote could be considered a ‘wrong.’ Furthermore, the point here that has to be made is that banning white men from voting temporarily will help them understand systemic injustice and help them become better, more empathetic allies to the social justice cause.” —Affinity Magazine’s Malia Rolt
Non sequitur: “The pool of potential recruits who meet military standards has been contracting for some time. … Rather than trying to strengthen the recruiting pool, Trump has just made it worse by summarily banning transgender individuals from military service. … Although it may be uncomfortable serving alongside transgender soldiers for some troops, one has to wonder if they would prefer to be in a combat situation relying on a fellow soldier who is overweight, drug addled, slow-witted, or oppositional?” —Pennsylvania State University’s Mark Feinberg
A never-ending nightmare: “Obviously we bear the burden of having lost the Electoral College, so I lose sleep about that every night.” —Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta
And last… “We had an election on November 8, but for many of our colleagues, the election remains undecided. They don’t accept the verdict of the American people, the Electoral College, that President Trump won the election. Hillary Clinton lost.” —Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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