Hoofs on the Ground

 

Just an anecdote to share: I met with a small, local rancher today. After we got our business done, I asked how things were going on the farm. He said that costs are going up and there seems to be no endpoint or light at the end of the tunnel. Examples:

Supplies Last year at this time Now
Flatbed truck of feed (same amount, same supplier) $4,100 $7,100
Chicken manure fertilizer $28/ton $41/ton
Fertilizer (when available, large players buying it up) $400/ton $613/ton

Tractor: none available to order as delivery is completely uncertain. He had an immediate need and had to buy the one tractor available. As he said, he had “less than zero” bargaining power.

No good martinis today, but join Jim and Greg as they react to the Biden administration urging employers to mandate vaccinations regardless of how courts rule on the new OSHA rule. They also fume as Biden considers shutting down a key Great Lakes pipeline even though energy prices are set to skyrocket this winter. And they wade into the bizarre internet guessing game of where California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been for the past two weeks.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the Fifth U.S. Circuit of Appeals for placing a stay on President Biden’s order mandating vaccinations for everyone at companies employing 100 or more people. They also welcome the latest indictment from the Durham investigation into the origins of the Russian collusion probe and what it may foreshadow about where Durham is focused next. And they fume as 13 House Republicans vote in favor of the bloated $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and save Democrats from even more political dysfunction and embarrassment.

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up three good martinis again today! First, they love the story of Republican Edward Durr defeating the the Dem president of the New Jersey Senate after spending a whopping $153 on his campaign. They’re also encouraged by the ongoing infighting among congressional Democrats who seem to be in more disarray than ever on the reconciliation bill. And they thoroughly enjoy watching progressives and moderates point fingers at each other over their election losses.

 

Tax Schemes That Won’t Pay Off

 

Right now, Washington’s fevered political atmosphere is abuzz with taxation proposals to plug the funding gap created by President Biden’s slimmed-down $1.85 trillion Build Back Better program. Biden has no modest fiscal ambitions: he wants to introduce a huge new system of transfer payments to those at the bottom of the income scale, paid for by taxes that are imposed solely on the richest segment of the population, leaving just about everyone else untouched. His two major policy options—in an on-again-off-again fashion—appear to be a tax on the unrealized appreciation targeted to those who have more than $1 billion in assets or $100 million in income, and a 15 percent minimum corporate tax that Biden asserts will make big business pay its “fair share.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touts this program as “something major, transformative, historic, and bigger than anything else” that Congress has ever attempted—which is exactly why a thumbs-down verdict is warranted, even before its details are laid out. One key classical liberal requirement for good government is the stability of key social institutions, including, prominently, taxation. Stability does not entail total stasis; after all, government must be able to respond to a changed global environment which, whether anticipated or not, may require rapid revisions in revenue needs. But stability does caution against making major structural changes in short time periods, without anticipating the range of complications bound to follow sudden social transitions.

The new system’s administrative costs, the high likelihood of technical error, and the nonstop, evasive maneuvers of targeted taxpayers to avoid or minimize the new tax regime make it a virtual certainty that tax revenues will fall short of projections. Overall economic growth, meanwhile, will likely falter, often with unanticipated distributional consequences that make both the rich and poor worse off.

Join Jim and Greg for all good martinis today! First, they celebrate Glenn Youngkin’s win over Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor’s race and other good news for GOP candidates in Virginia. They’re also pleasantly surprised by the very strong showing by Jack Ciattarelli in the New Jersey governor’s race, suggesting Republicans can be competitive just about anywhere next year if they play their cards right. They react to Democrats and liberal media pundits learning nothing from the election results and preparing to double down on the same failed strategies. And they highlight more results from around the country that give conservatives reason to smile.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the strongest public comments yet from Sen. Joe Manchin about why he cannot yet support the massive reconciliation bill. They also chronicle Terry McAuliffe’s blatant lies in the closing days of the campaign, from falsely accusing Glenn Youngkin of being anti-vaccine to grossly inflating number of kids hospitalized with COVID. And they fume as more than two dozen New York City firehouses went out of service due to first responders being unvaccinated.

 

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Kyle Pomerleau, senior fellow on federal tax policy at American Enterprise Institute about the Build Back Better Act now in Congress, to understand how those new taxes will affect individuals, business, and the economy.

Guest:

Join Jim and Greg as they dissect new polls that show voters trusting Republicans more on several key issues and by wide margins.  They also roll their eyes at the climate summit in Scotland and at climate envoy John Kerry’s effort to end energy derived from coal altogether. And they unload at the Lincoln Project and its Democratic operative allies for Friday’s stunt aimed at looking like white supremacists were supporting the GOP candidate for governor in Virginia.

Member Post

 

I just saw that the economy for the last quarter slowed to 2 percent.  Normally 2 percent growth would not be bad if we were in a stable economy, but we are rising out of last year’s recession, and this reverses the direction.  We should be growing much faster.  Scanning the news outlets, it seems […]

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Union Paybacks Affect Us All

 

Most of the attention of our nation’s businesses entities is focused on attempts to win government favors. That’s typical of political economies sliding into corruption mode.

America’s unions have been a big winner of the competition. They poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Democratic campaigns. Their bet paid off when Democrats swept the presidency and both houses of Congress. Not only that, ol’ Scranton Joe is a longtime friend.

So White House favors have flowed in a torrent. For example, a new law mandates union labor on virtually all federal projects, automatically adding 20 to 30% to the cost. There is also a provision making union dues tax-deductible, another huge union subsidy.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news that congressional Democrats are still far apart on a framework for their massive spending bill. They also explain the absurdity of the “billionaire tax” and how it would soon impact a lot of people who are not billionaires. And they roll their eyes as the State Department drops the ball on countless problems but celebrates the launch of the gender neutral passport.

 

Jim and Greg serve up all good martinis today! First, they welcome the warning from former Clinton administration Treasury Sec. Larry Summers that the Fed needs to focus on fighting inflation instead of getting involved in “woke” issues. They also enjoy seeing Maine Dem Rep. Jared Golden announce that he is opposed to the reconciliation bill, leaving Nancy Pelosi with a very narrow margin. And they’re happy to see Sen. Joe Manchin state that is opposed to the IRS getting access to our bank account transactions at any threshold without a very good reason.

 

This week on Hubwonk, Joe Selvaggi talks with global supply chain expert, MIT Professor Yossi Sheffi about the unprecedented global supply and demand shocks created by the Covid-19 pandemic and how effective supply chain managers in an integrated world economy adapted to provide consumers with food, goods, and vaccines in record time.

Guest:

Jim Geraghty is back! Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the National School Board Association no longer accusing parents of being domestic terrorists but they still have a lot of questions. They also wince as evidence piles up that an economy that should be in a robust recovery is slowing down and possibly headed into a recession. And they get a kick out of Terry McAuliffe saying Stacey Abrams was the real winner of the 2018 Georgia governor’s race after falsely accusing Glenn Youngkin for months of disputing the 2020 election results.

 

Ricochet.com Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel is in for Jim.  Today, Jon and Greg welcome polls showing just a 4-6 point lead for the Democrat in the New Jersey governor’s race. They also have plenty to say as emails show the National School Board Association and the Biden administration were in contact well before the NSBA publicly asked for the administration’s help in declaring parents domestic terrorists and the Justice Department turned the FBI loose on those same parents. And they have fun with the argument from some on the left that trees need legal rights.

 

Ricochet.com Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel is in for Jim today.  Join Greg and Jon as they welcome Sen. Sinema’s demands of no tax hikes on corporations, individuals, or capital gains. They also hammer Pres. Biden for pushing for the guaranteed boondoggle of high-speed rail, but Biden also admits the real goal is to get your car off the road. And they cringe as Democrats in Virginia take another swing at loosening absentee ballot rules.

 

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with John Dearie, founder and president of the Center for American Entrepreneurship, a Washington, D.C.-based research, policy and advocacy organization. Immigration is core to his mission to build a policy environment that promotes entrepreneurship because he knows all too well that the United States was and continues to be built by entrepreneurial immigrants who had the drive and determination to pick up, leave everything they know behind, and build a new life in a new homeland. So to John, it is no surprise they are twice as likely to take another risk: start a business. He’s also seen across the country frustration among business owners, both U.S.-born and foreign-born, at an immigration system that works against this country’s interest. Why? Because it doesn’t seek to actively attract or retain talent from the rest of the world. John sees the decline in U.S. entrepreneurship and believes that more immigration, not less, would power the nation’s economy and innovation, which have made us the global leader. Instead, he’s seeing an unnecessarily partisan and toxic approach to immigration that, he says, harms us all and is inherently unamerican, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.

Guest:

Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy watching Terry McAuliffe make mistake after mistake in the homestretch of the Virginia governor’s race. They also welcome a Wall Street Journal report on the simple reality that only fossil fuels can meet our energy needs in terms of abundance and cost but fume that Democrats insist on pursuing policies that are not realistic and are sending prices much higher. And they they wince as reports suggest Democrats appear to be closing in on a consensus for a $2 trillion spending binge on far left priorities.