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Subcategories from this category: Maryland Politics, National Politics

Posted by on in National Politics

A lesson in economics history by Thomas Sowell:           

 

The nomination of Janet Yellen to become head of the Federal Reserve System has set off a flurry of media stories. Since she will be the first woman to occupy that position, we can only hope that this will not mean that any criticism of what she does will be attributed to sex bias or to a "war on women."

The Federal Reserve has become such a major player in the American economy that it needs far more scrutiny and criticism than it has received, regardless of who heads it.

Ms. Yellen, a former professor of economics at Berkeley, has openly proclaimed her views on economic policy, and those views deserve very careful scrutiny. She asks: "Will capitalist economies operate at full employment in the absence of routine intervention?" And she answers: "Certainly not."

Janet Yellen represents the Keynesian economics that once dominated economic theory and policy like a national religion -- until it encountered two things: Milton Friedman and the stagflation of the 1970s.

At the height of the Keynesian influence, it was widely believed that government policy-makers could choose a judicious trade-off between the inflation rate and the rate of unemployment. This trade-off was called the Phillips Curve, in honor of an economist at the London School of Economics.

Professor Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago attacked the Phillips Curve, both theoretically and empirically. When Professor Friedman received the Nobel Prize in economics -- the first of many to go to Chicago economists, who were the primary critics of Keynesian economics -- it seemed as if the idea of a trade-off between the inflation rate and the unemployment rate might be laid to rest.

The ultimate discrediting of this Phillips Curve theory was the rising inflation and unemployment, at the same time in the 1970s, in what came to be called "stagflation" -- a combination of rising inflation and a stagnant economy with high unemployment.

Nevertheless, the Keynesian economists have staged a political comeback during the Obama administration. Janet Yellen's nomination to head the Federal Reserve is the crowning example of that comeback.

Ms. Yellen asks: "Do policy-makers have the knowledge and ability to improve macroeconomic outcomes rather than making matters worse?" And she answers: "Yes."

The former economics professor is certainly asking the right questions -- and giving the wrong answers.

Her first question, whether free market economies can achieve full employment without government intervention, is a purely factual question that can be answered from history. For the first 150 years of the United States, there was no policy of federal intervention when the economy turned down.

No depression during all that time was as catastrophic as the Great Depression of the 1930s, when both the Federal Reserve System and Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt intervened in the economy on a massive and unprecedented scale.

Despite the myth that it was the stock market crash of 1929 that caused the double-digit unemployment of the 1930s, unemployment never reached double digits in any of the 12 months that followed the 1929 stock market crash.

Unemployment peaked at 9 percent in December 1929 and was back down to 6.3 percent by June 1930, when the first major federal intervention took place under Herbert Hoover. The unemployment decline then reversed, rising to hit double digits six months later. As Hoover and then FDR continued to intervene, double-digit unemployment persisted throughout the remainder of the 1930s.

Conversely, when President Warren G. Harding faced an annual unemployment rate of 11.7 percent in 1921, he did absolutely nothing, except for cutting government spending.

Keynesian economists would say that this was exactly the wrong thing to do. History, however, says that unemployment the following year went down to 6.7 percent -- and, in the year after that, 2.4 percent.

Under Calvin Coolidge, the ultimate in non-interventionist government, the annual unemployment rate got down to 1.8 percent. How does the track record of Keynesian intervention compare to that?

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Posted by on in National Politics

The Obama IRS scandal is not the first corruption of the IRS, but it may be the worst. The opportunity to “punish your enemies and reward your friends” is too inviting with the income tax. The first income tax was levied during the Civil War, but removed after the War. In the 1890’s an income tax was again tried, but found unconstitutional. The 16th Amendment was passed in 1913 to overcome the Article I Constitutional prohibition of such taxes.

                       

The Fair Tax was first introduced in Congress in1999 after several years of development. It includes a requirement for repeal of the 16th amendment.

  • The Fair Tax is not a tax increase!
  • The Fair Tax is a consumption tax on      all new goods and services.

 

  • The      underground and offshore economies would no longer escape taxation.
  • A 23% tax      rate is revenue neutral. All income,      Social Security and Medicare taxes will be gone.
  • The progressivity      in the existing tax system will remain due to a “prebate” paid to all. The payment will be approximately $5,000      per year for a couple.
  • The      tax basis for domestically made goods will be much lower because of the      removal of taxes from manufacturers and service providers and reduced      compliance cost.
  • The Fair      Tax would greatly reduce compliance costs for people and business.
  • The IRS      as we know it would disappear with the Fair Tax.
  • The      economy will grow with the fair tax.       We would be more competitive with foreign suppliers and have predictable      future taxes.

 

  • Compliance      with the IRS costs $300 billion per year with the present system.

                                            

  • States      with no state income tax generally do better economically.
  • Congress      and Presidents will no longer be able to reward or punish with tax policy. Most special interest lobbying would      disappear.

Some think a flat tax is the way to simplify the tax system. A Flat tax does not get rid of the IRS and much of the compliance costs. There will always special interests looking for deduction and those looking to “soak the rich”. “A flat tax never remains flat.”

For more information see “The Fair Tax Book” by Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder and http://www.fairtax.org.

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Posted by on in National Politics

The Fair Tax would eliminate the IRS as we know it.  Corrupt politicians and Federal employees would no longer be able to make judgements on private citizens.  Besides that, the economy would boom.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

 

 

 

AFFT Calls on Congress to Eliminate IRS Targeting by Enacting the FairTax(R)

May 16, 2013 10:13 | Source:Americans For Fair Taxation

HOUSTON, May 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Americans For Fair Taxation® (AFFT), outraged by the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) continued political abuse and intimidation of citizens and organizations, is calling on Congress to immediately enact HR 25 / S 122, the FairTax® Act of 2013 and phase out the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). "No person or group is safe from IRS targeting; everyone is a bull's eye," said AFFT spokesperson Cynthia T. Canevaro.

She added, "The agency, with over 90,000 employees and an annual budget in excess of $12 billion, has historically been the ultimate tool of extreme political manipulation by politicians of both major parties. That's exactly what our Founding Fathers feared."

"These types of abuses of are nothing new," said Dan Mastromarco, tax attorney and co-author of HR 25 / S 122. He added, "In 1819, Former Chief Justice John Marshall warned in McCulloch v. Maryland that, 'An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy.' The FairTax Act is the only way in which Congress can once and for all eliminate the harassment, political exploitation and selective enforcement against perceived dissidents. It levels the playing field and redistributes power to the citizens who pay the taxes."

The FairTax Plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with a national retail sales tax, a "prebate" to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment, which authorized the creation of the income tax.

"Congress has enabled IRS activities with more than 5,000 code changes in just 11 years, and even expanded their scope to include enforcement of major provisions of Obamacare," said Canevaro. "Congress created this problem. They now have an opportunity to correct it by enacting the FairTax Plan and asking the President to join them in signing the measure into law."

About Americans For Fair Taxation®

AFFT was formed in 1995. It is a nonprofit 501(c)(4), nonpartisan, grassroots organization solely dedicated to providing education on the FairTax Plan (HR 25 / S 122) to all members of the public, elected and appointed public officials and candidates for elected office – regardless of party affiliation. AFFT does not advocate the election or defeat of any candidate for public office and does not favor any candidate, political party, or incumbent over another. For more information, visit www.fairtax.org

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Posted by on in National Politics

Margaret Thatcher  1925-2013 

 

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money"

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Posted by on in National Politics

The right to self-defense predates the Constitution.  The Second Amendment was written to guarantee it is preserved forever:

 

 

The Right to Self-Defense

by Andrew P. Napolitano

Recently by Andrew P. Napolitano: Obama’s False Alarms

 

 

 

   

In all the noise caused by the Obama administration’s direct assault on the right of every person to keep and bear arms, the essence of the issue has been drowned out. The president and his big-government colleagues want you to believe that only the government can keep you free and safe, so to them, the essence of this debate is about obedience to law.

To those who have killed innocents among us, obedience to law is the last of their thoughts. And to those who believe that the Constitution means what it says, the essence of this debate is not about the law; it is about personal liberty in a free society. It is the exercise of this particular personal liberty – the freedom to defend yourself when the police cannot or will not and the freedom to use weapons to repel tyrants if they take over the government – that the big-government crowd fears the most.

 

Let’s be candid: All government fears liberty. By its nature, government is the negation of liberty. God has given us freedom, and the government has taken it away. George Washington recognized this when he argued that government is not reason or eloquence but force. If the government had its way, it would have a monopoly on force.

 

Government compels, restrains and takes. Thomas Jefferson understood that when he wrote that our liberties are inalienable and endowed by our Creator, and the only reason we have formed governments is to engage them to protect our liberties. We enacted the Constitution as the supreme law of the land to restrain the government. Yet somewhere along the way, government got the idea that it can more easily protect the freedom of us all from the abuses of a few by curtailing the freedom of us all. I know that sounds ridiculous, but that’s where we are today.

The anti-Second Amendment crowd cannot point to a single incident in which curtailing the freedom of law-abiding Americans has stopped criminals or crazies from killing. It is obvious that criminals don’t care what the law says because they think they can get away with their violations of it. And those unfortunates who are deranged don’t recognize any restraint on their own behavior, as they cannot mentally distinguish right from wrong and cannot be expected to do so in the future, no matter what the law says.

 

When the Second Amendment was written and added to the Constitution, the use of guns in America was common. At the same time, King George III – whom we had just defeated and who was contemplating another war against us, which he would start in 1812 – no doubt ardently wished that he had stripped his colonists of their right to self-defense so as to subdue their use of violence to secede from Great Britain. That act of secession, the American Revolution, was largely successful because close to half of the colonists were armed and did not fear the use of weaponry.

 

If the king and the Parliament had enacted and enforced laws that told them who among the colonists owned guns or that limited the power of the colonists’ guns or the amount of ammunition they could possess, our Founding Fathers would have been hanged for treason. One of the secrets of the Revolution – one not taught in public schools today – is that the colonists actually had superior firepower to the king. The British soldiers had standard-issue muskets, which propelled a steel ball or several of them about 50 yards from the shooter. But the colonists had the long gun – sometimes called the Kentucky or the Tennessee – which propelled a single steel ball about 200 yards, nearly four times as far as the British could shoot. Is it any wonder that by Yorktown in 1781, the king and the Parliament had lost enough men and treasure to surrender?

 

The lesson here is that free people cannot remain free by permitting the government – even a popularly elected one that they can unelect – to take their freedoms away. The anti-freedom crowd in the government desperately wants to convey the impression that it is doing something to protect us. So it unconstitutionally and foolishly seeks, via burdensome and intrusive registration laws, laws restricting the strength of weapons and the quantity and quality of ammunition and, the latest trick, laws that impose financial liability on law-abiding manufacturers and sellers for the criminal behavior of some users, to make it so burdensome to own a gun that the ordinary folks who want one will give up their efforts to obtain one.

We cannot let ourselves fall down this slippery slope. The right to self-defense is a natural individual right that pre-exists the government. It cannot morally or constitutionally be taken away absent individual consent or due process. Kings and tyrants have taken this right away. We cannot let a popular majority take it away, for the tyranny of the majority can be as destructive to freedom as the tyranny of a madman.

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