Children of Socialism

I am ashamed to admit it, but there was a time I was pretty far left-wing. My views might even have been described as socialist.

Absorbing what I saw on TV, I looked out to the world and saw big businesses that only cared about making more and more money, willing to ride over the the little guys if that’s what it took. I thought the government was the only organization that cared about ordinary people. Put those two ideas together and I arrived at the very definition of socialism: I believed the government should take over and run businesses for the betterment of everyday Americans.

Then I turned eight and I gave up such childish ideas.

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Trump is Wrong to Declare a National Emergency

Millions and millions of illegal immigrants have broken the law to come and stay in America without authorization. They strain our government services, fragment our communities, cheat those who obey the law and wait in line, and demonstrate disrespect for the United States at a base level. For all these reasons and more, we should build a wall on our southern border.

But declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress is not the way to do it. Trump’s plan is wrong for several reasons.

1) First and foremost, it is unconstitutional. Congress is the only branch authorized to appropriate taxpayer dollars. Congress has explicitly declined to appropriate funding for the wall. Are they wrong to do so? Of course. But the remedy for that is the next election. The president cannot do what he likes anytime Congress disagrees with him.

2) It will likely fail. Immediately following Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, lawsuits will be filed across the country. Trump’s own White House counsel called it a “high litigation risk.” That’s only if Congress doesn’t stop it first, which can be done with a simple majority vote. That vote could very well succeed.

Even if the Congressional vote fails, or Trump vetoes the resolution, courts will almost certainly put it on hold while the case is decided. That means not only is the wall not being built, but military construction that Trump delays or cancels to pay for the wall is stopped as well. Now we don’t get a wall, and our troops don’t get what they need. Lose-lose.

Don’t take my word for it.

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No one would confuse Ann Coulter for a NeverTrumper or an immigration squish. There may be no one in this country more dedicated to building a wall. But she has been adamant that the national emergency is a ruse bound to fail.

3) Whether the gambit succeeds or fails, a precedent will be set. Nancy Pelosi has already raised the idea of a future Democrat president declaring gun violence a national emergency and taking action against Congress’s will. The Green New Deal, a fantasy proposal of socialist wish lists, was described as necessary to combat the national emergency of climate change. If we travel down this path, what is to stop the next Democrat in the White House from announcing climate change is too important an issue to leave to Congress, and it is his or her duty to fight the threat regardless of what Congress wants?

If your answer is that a wall is a real solution to a significant problem, and those other examples are not, you would be right, but that is not a legal argument. If the precedent is set, the precedent is set. There is no going back.

Sometimes democracy disappears seemingly overnight in a coup or revolution. Sometimes democracy is slowly chipped away at, when the people decide democracy is just too hard. Make no mistake about it: the president declaring a national emergency as a workaround Congress is a diminution of our democracy – the latest in a series of unconstitutional power grabs over the last decade. This does not mean a dictator is right around the corner. But if we keep slashing away at our democratic norms, he will be coming.

Nothing is worth weakening our democracy, certainly not another empty promise.

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The NFL Pro Bowl Proves Capitalism is the Best

I love football. Love it. While most people mark the time of year by Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, the only two seasons I recognize are football season and offseason. I got married right before football season started this year, and my wife quickly realized I had unbreakable plans every Thursday night, Monday night, and all day Sunday. I even watched the preseason games when most of the players on the field wouldn’t even make the team.

Today is the NFL Pro Bowl, where the very best players in the world get together to play each other in one game. But I won’t be watching.

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Look at Him. Of Course He’s Guilty.

In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there is a scene in which a group of Medieval villagers drag a woman through the town square excitedly shouting that they’ve found a witch. They take her to the town magistrate, inform him they’ve found a witch, and ask for permission to burn her.

“Well how do you know she is a witch?” the magistrate asks.

“She looks like one” the villagers reply.

I thought about this scene as I watched the response unfold over the weekend to the interaction between a group of high school students and a Native American elder at the Lincoln Memorial.

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The Primary Motivation of the Far-Left is not Compassion, it is Jealousy

Matt Yglesias, co-founder of vox.com, often has some really dumb ideas. But he is occasionally useful. Unlike other far-leftists, he’s sometimes willing to say the quiet part out loud.

While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was making headlines proposing a 70% top tax rate to pay for her economy killing Green New Deal, Yglesias got into the mix by advocating a 90% tax rate. What makes him so useful is that he included his real motivation.

Responding to criticism of excessive tax rates, Yglesias admitted a 90% tax bracket would not increase revenue for the government, and might even result is less money flowing into the treasury. But that’s OK, because as Yglesias helpfully spells out, the real point of high taxes is not to raise funding but to reduce the number of rich people by punishing the successful.

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This is important. He’s not saying high taxes will help the poor in some way; the only benefit is to bring down the wealthy. We would have a poorer country overall, but at least there wouldn’t be so many rich people out there succeeding.

The far-left often couch their ideas in terms of compassion. They don’t hate the rich, they just love the poor. They don’t want to punish success, they just want to help others succeed. I am sure some believe this and are just economically illiterate. Yglesias confirms what many think but won’t say: they do hate the rich and they do want to punish success, even if it hurts those they claim to love. Leftist economics is not about compassion, it’s about jealousy and resentment.

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Steve King has to Go

I have written several times about attempts by the media and Democrats (I repeat myself) to paint all Republicans as racists. They will take one low level official no one has ever heard of and suggest their racism is representative of the entire party. This is unfair.

But there are times we must put aside legitimate fears of bias to stand up and denounce racists who claim to speak for us. This is one of those times.

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The 5 Richest Counties in America Surround Washington DC

The US Census Bureau released its American Community Survey data, and once again a striking detail comes into focus. The five counties with the highest median income in all of America are all near Washington DC.

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Although it has come to be expected, this is still an astounding realization. Some of our major cities are built around lucrative industries. New York City is built around Wall Street and the financial sector, a multi-billion dollar industry. Hollywood is built around movies and entertainment, a multi-billion dollar industry. Silicon Valley is built around the technology boom, an unprecedented event that is creating billionaires left and right.

Washington DC is built around the Federal Government, a trillion dollar industry.

It seems like this is discussed each time the new survey inevitably puts several counties surrounding DC at the top of the list. But I think many people are drawing the slightly wrong conclusion from this data.

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