Monday, January 30, 2006

Tax cuts

The report published by the Congressional Budget Office last week indicates that the 2003 capital gains tax cuts have already more than paid for themselves.

In 2003, before the capital gains tax cut bill was passed, the CBO Budget and Economic Outlook report projected capital gains tax revenue at $60 billion in 2004 and $65 billion in 2005, for a total of $125 billion.

The capital gains tax was passed by Congress in 2003, and took affect in 2004.

Opponents to the tax cut claimed that it would reduce tax revenues by $27 billion in 2004 and 2005, resulting in $98 billion in revenue instead of $125 billion. They were wrong. Not just a bit wrong, but completely, 180 degrees wrong.

Tax revenues did not decrease as a result of the tax cut. They increased. The actual capital gains taxes collected were $71 billion in 2004 and $80 billion in 2005, for a total of $151 billion.

Instead of reducing revenue by $27 billion, the revenue exceeded projections by $26 billion.

Chalk up one more for supply-side economics.

Daniel Clifton of the American Shareholders Association predicted this result, saying
A capital gains tax cut spurs the growth of new businesses, increases the wage of workers, enhances consumer purchasing power, and grows the economy at large, resulting in more overall gains to be taxed. When capital is taxed at a lower rate, any revenue losses are offset because there is more overall capital being produced, and thus more total revenue being generated.
The reverse is true, as demonstrated by President Clinton. In 1993 he signed the largest tax increase in history, raising the top rate by 16 percent. However, tax revenues over the next four years only beat pre-hike estimates by one percent.

So what put the budget into "surplus" at the end of the 1990's? It was a combination of Republican-led reigning in of spending, and a 1997 capital gains tax cut engineered by a Republican Congress. In spite of cutting the capital gains tax rate by 28%, capital gains tax revenues exceeded projections by 11% over the next three years.

Now I reject any argument which claims that we should be trying to maximize tax revenues. The government already spends too much money and is too intrusive. Balancing the budget can not be accomplished by increasing the tax burden. When we face a budget deficit, the problem is excessive spending, not insufficient taxation. We can not blame Bush's tax cuts for the current budget deficit. The numbers simply do not support the claim that tax rate cuts result in deficits.

Instead, we must blame Congress for their inability to control spending. Republicans won control of Congress on this platform in 1994, and for a while, they remained true to the principle of fiscal restraint. But in the five years that Republicans have controlled Congress and the White House, they have failed miserably to keep spending under control. In 2005 the Federal government spent $2,472.2 billion, up from $1,789.2 billion in 2000. This represents a 6.68% annual increase in spending, outpacing inflation, population growth, and GDP.

There are two key elements to a successful implementation of fiscally conservative economic policy: low taxes and controlled spending. One does not work without the other. We are doing fine on taxes, but its time to get spending in check.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A relief

On Tuesday, liberal web site "Truthout" reported that they had proof that the NSA wiretaps had started earlier than 9/11/2001. They trumpted this news as evidence that President Bush was hellbent on depriving people of their rights by listening to the international phone calls of terrorists.

On Wednesday, the "Truthout" story was debunked, meaning that they do not have evidence that NSA wiretaps had started before terrorists crashed airliners into the World Trade Center, and Pentagon, and attempted to target some other site. They were not nearly so loud in admitting that they were wrong. Truthout, it seems, is aptly named. There is no TruthIn it.

However, "Truthout" author Lason Jeapold did express relief that the story was untrue. "It is a great relief to discover that the rights of the 20 hijackers and 3,000 Americans killed on September eleventh were not violated."

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice pointed out that "its hard to exercise your right to make an unmonitored phone call when you are dead."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Klanned Parenthood

Putting the "hood" in Parenthood

Abortion! Because lynching is for amateurs.

In America today, almost as many black babies are aborted as are born.

A black baby is three times more likely to be murdered in the womb than a white baby.

Since 1973, abortion has reduced the black population by over 25 percent.

Twice as many African-Americans have died from abortion than have died from AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer, and heart disease combined.

Every three days, more African-Americans are killed by abortion than have been killed by the Ku Klux Klan in its entire history.

About 13 percent of American women are black, but they submit to over 35 percent of the abortions.

Planned Parenthood operates the nation's largest chain of abortion clinics and almost 80 percent of its facilities are located in minority neighborhoods. This is not an accident. Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger said "Negros and Southern Europeans are mentally inferior to native born Americans. Blacks, soldiers, and jews are a menace to the race -- sinister forces of the hordes of irresponsibility and imbecility. ... More children from the fit, less from the unfit--that is the chief issue of birth control." (Birth Control Review, May 1919)

"Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race."
-- Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood

What the Ku Klux Klan Could Only Dream About The Abortion Industry is Accomplishing

Thursday, January 12, 2006


There is one central issue on the mind of every Democrat Senator in the confirmation hearings of Judge Alito: will Ted Kennedy ever shut up?

The confirmation hearings are more about liberal Senators grandstanding than about understanding Judge Alito's judicial philosophy. Kennedy talked for 24 of the 30 minutes allotted to him for the purpose of questioning Alito. Senator Biden went on for 18 minutes before he got to the first question.

These senators have already decided how they are going to vote. They are now just looking to score political points. They hope to do this by forcing Judge Alito to sound evasive, particularly on the question of abortion. But is Judge Alito being evasive when he refuses to say how he would rule in a case involving abortion? A better question is this: would a judge be fair to say how he would rule on a case before hearing both sides of the case argued in court? A judge who did this would rightly be considered prejudiced and unfit to try the case. While politicians can take positions based on their own opinion or what is politically expedient, a judge must decide a case based on the law, and only after hearing arguments from both sides.

That being said, I do think that Judge Alito would vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade. He would not vote that way because of his own personal opinion. He would vote to overturn Roe because it is bad Constitutional law. In 1973, the Supreme Court made a life and death decision which resulted in the deaths of 46 million unborn babies. The Supreme Court came down on the side of death, and they did it based on a "right" made up out of thin air. The Constitution does not include a right to privacy, and depriving 46 million people of their right to life on the basis of a non-existent "right" is a travesty unequalled by our nation since slavery.

Abortion advocates have made many arguments in an attempt to justify abortion. These arguments are based on a "right to choose" and "a woman's right to do what she wants with her body." They claim that abortion is a decision involving a woman and her doctor. But they omit the fact that a third person is involved: the baby. All of the pro-abortion arguments crumble unless the baby can be dehumanized. Certainly no one's right to choose supersedes another person's right to live. A woman's right to her own body does not give her the right to dismember someone else. A decision between a woman and her doctor can not result in some other person being sucked into a sink.

Abortion advocates are forced to resort to arbitrary definitions for who is human and who is not.

The Supreme Court used a trimester system. They said that 179 days after conception, it is a lump of tissue which can be removed, but 181 days after conception it is human and the state has an interest in protecting the life. Why is 180 days the magic number? No reason.

Then there was the viability standard. If the baby is viable, it is human. But viability is determined by the level of technology among many other things. A person's humanity does not vary depending on the level of technology. Thirty years ago, 28 weeks was the limit of viability. Today it is common for babies born at 22 weeks to survive. By their argument, in 1975 a baby at 25 weeks gestation was not human, but today it is.

Others say that it is when the baby is no longer dependent on it mother for survival. As the parent of a teenager, let me tell you that this doesn't happen until age 19 or so. But seriously, a one-year-old is dependent on her parent for care. Leave her alone and she dies. Should killing her be a matter of choice?

Many other attempts have been made to define a point somewhere between conception and birth at which a baby "becomes" human. These tend to focus on the baby's biological or cognitive functions. However, it is not these functions which make us human. People who lose these functions through a medical condition or age are not considered unhuman.

Today abortion is legal up until the moment of birth. Humanness is determined by one's position relative to the birth canal. On this side, you are human, but on that side you are not. It is discrimination based on place of residence. But this doesn't even fit with standard usage. I did an experiment years ago where I approached dozens of obviously pregnant women and asked them "what is in there?" Some told me it was a boy. Others said a girl. Some said that it was a baby. Some even told me the baby's name. Not a single one said that it was a fetus, the product of conception, or a tissue mass. The working definition for an unborn baby's humanity is that it is human if it is wanted.

The only non-arbitrary definition for humanness is that at the moment of conception, a unique, living human comes into existence. She is unique because her DNA is distinct from either parents' and from any other person on earth. And if not human, than what species is she? The state has an obligation to protect the lives of all people, not just the ones who are big and powerful and can speak for themselves.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Vermont Real Estate

The value of real estate in Vermont jumped sharply on Friday, with the news that Judge Edward Cashman had sentenced a man convicted of repeatedly raping a 7-year-old girl to six months in prison because "he no longer believes in punishment."

It appears that the sudden surge in demand was a result of pedophiles from across the country moving to Vermont to take advantage of this new philosophy for dealing with child rapists.

Analysts say that the housing bubble is unlikely to last for long, as a glut of houses is dumped on the market by families with children moving out of the state.

Judge Cashman based his decision primarily the lack of facilities in Vermont prisons to rehabilitate sex offenders, saying "There's other families out there, and there's other people who could be victimized, and I'm trying to take the long view." However, prosecuting attorney Jack Harmon pointed out that there are no seven-year-old girls in prison.

Friday, January 06, 2006

An apology

In 1996 I was critical of Steve Forbes when he called Pat Robertson a "toothy flake." It was not that I particularly liked Robertson, or didn't like Forbes. In fact, my little green Nissan Sentra sported Forbes bumper stickers during the 2000 primaries, and I have never watched Robertson. But Forbes' comments on Robertson seemed excessively harsh.

Well, it turns out that Steve Forbes hit the nail on the head. Pat Robertson believes that he speaks for God, revealing exactly what God thinks on any topic, and why God does what he does in a specific situation. What arrogant presumption!

Mr. Forbes, I apologize for taking issue with you for calling Pat Robertson a "toothy flake." You were right.

52 months

It has been 52 months since a group of terrorists crashed American airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and attempted to attack a forth target, killing three thousand innocent people. Bin Laden intended the 9/11 attacks to be the first in a series of three attacks on America over a two year period, each attack more devastating than the previous. To this day, attacking America and inflicting massive casualties remains a top priority of Bin Laden, Zawahiri, and Zarqawi. But nothing has happened.

But in reality, a lot has happened.

Of the 26 most wanted terrorists on the FBI list in January 2002, 22 are dead or captured.

We are holding hundreds of terrorists in secret prisons and at Gitmo. We are using the intelligence we obtain from them to capture more terrorists and thwart their plans.

We have listened to terrorists' communications here and around the world, giving us an advantage in stopping their attacks.

Jose Padilla is facing trial rather than plotting to kill Americans.

A dictator who sponsored terror has been removed from power, and the first democracy has been planted in the Middle East, where the people of Iraq elected their own government for the first time in history last month.

Zhalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, and others are in prison cells rather than directing more murder plots.

Thanks to the single-minded leadership of President George Bush, we are fighting an effective war on Terror which has prevented further attacks on American soil for 52 months.

Part of the problem with the War on Terror is that the benefits are often untangible. How many people were saved by preventing attacks which never happened? We will never know the exact number. However, it is clear that our aggressive, pro-active approach is working. Let's not mess with it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Some day, America will be attacked by terrorists again. Their goal will be to make September 11, 2001 look small-time. Recent politically motivated statements and actions by Democrats make it more likely that these attacks will be successful at murdering many thousands of Americans.

I wonder if Democrats will stand up and take responsibility when this happens?

Will Charles Schumer address the families of the victims killed by the terrorists, and explain why the "right" of these terrorists to carry on their international phone calls without monitoring was more important than the right of the victims to not be blown up?

Will the politicians who complain about the high price of gas and our reliance on foreign oil, but then vote to raise gas taxes and to not allow us to use our own vast oil reserves or build new refineries accept the blame when terrorists use the money we pay for their oil to finance attacks against America?

Will Howard Dean meet with the wives of American soldiers killed by an enemy emboldened by his statement that America can not win the war in Iraq? What could he possibly say to justify his irresponsible comments?

Will Senators who voted to compromise our ability to stop terror attacks by weakening the Patriot Act and passing the Terrorist Bill of Rights stand by their position that the "civil rights" of terrorists outweigh American civilians right to life?

Will Senator Murtha resign in disgrace if we don't finish the job in Iraq, and the terrorists we left behind kill thousands of Americans with Saddam's hidden supply of nerve gas?

We all know who will take the blame when the next attack happens. It won't be the Congressmen who voted for the war and then stabbed our troops in the back when it became politically expedient. It won't be the leaker in the CIA who notified the terrorists that we were monitoring their communications. It won't be CNN or the New York Times, al Qaeda's propoganda branch. It will be the one man who has done more to dismantle the global terror networks than any person in history. the one man who has taken an unwavering stand against evil in spite of the political price. President George Bush will take the blame.

The War against Terror is a global confrontation of Good versus evil. The war in Iraq is a war between 25 million Iraqis and a few thousand terrorists. Democrats have joined with the wrong side in this conflict. In the long term, this will be a losing strategy.