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Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Alabama legislators for passing a sweeping abortion ban but Alexandra wonders how well it will stand up to legal challenges. They also shake their heads as Beto O’Rourke relaunches his presidential campaign by apologizing for his privilege, calling Stacey Abrams his hero, and […]
As Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren tries to bribe college students into voting for her with promises of student loan debt forgiveness and free college, the Young Americans draw from their own experiences to discuss Warren’s plan, the student loan debt crisis, and what, if anything, we can do about it. More
Welcome friends to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for April 24, 2019 it is the I-Word edition of the show with your T-Word (“terrific”) hosts Todd Feinburg, radio guy, east coast and Mike Stopa, AI guy, west coast. We are here every week to blast you with the latest news and political commentary that you so deeply need.
This week, the I-Word. Impeachment. Who be fer it and who be agin it? Does Rachel Maddow have any choice really? It matters not a whit what the Mueller report said, Maddow and her like-minded fellow travellers were going to continue to be pro-impeachment no matter what. That’s what happens when you are insulated from empiricism. But how about the legacy media like WaPo or the NYT? And then, how about the Dems, the Reps, the candidates? We will analyze.More
Last week, in his Wall Street Journal “Best of the Web” newsletter, James Freeman discussed Elizabeth Warren’s call for a “thorough national conversation on Reparations.” Here is what he said:
The basic idea is that the federal government will apportion among the citizens living now the historical guilt for heinous acts committed by people long dead against other people long dead. Then money would flow from people who have not been convicted of any crime to people who have not been found by any court to have been victimized by a crime.
Policy wonks have a soft spot for bold ideas. Doubly so if those ideas are new or making a comeback after years in the wilderness. The New York Times columnist David Leonhardt recently heaped much praise on presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren for her “bold” and “ambitious” agenda that’s appropriate “to the scale of our challenges.”
Voters are no different. Plenty of folks on the left seem giddy about the idea of a “Green New Deal” that would put the US economy on a war footing against climate change. And it’s not just Democrats and progressives. Many on the right fondly recall how Ronald Reagan in the 1970s said Republicans should raise ”a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors.”More
An encouraging result of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s mega-ambitious plan to break up Amazon, Alphabet-Google, and Facebook is her interview with The Washington Post tech reporter Cat Zakrzewski. At the end of the Q&A, Zakrzewski asked the Democratic 2020 contender, “How do you avoid unintended consequences on innovation if you break the companies up?” To which Warren replied, “I think what we have right now is the unintended consequence. The giants are destroying competition in one area after another.”
This is good. Warren allows for unintended consequences when implementing public policy. Little of the activist feverishness about a Big Tech breakup has acknowledged their existence or that of trade-offs. More should be expected of policymakers. Conceding the reality of both provides a starting point for debate. That said, Warren seems oblivious to the potential unintended consequences or trade-offs of her proposal.More
Hello there, Lunchers one and all! Welcome again to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for February 28, 2019 it is the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels edition of the podcast with your honest and upstanding hosts, radio guy Todd Feinburg and AI guy Mike Stopa (the handsome one). We come to you every week to bring […]
Elizabeth Warren, one of the – what is it now, 211 candidates for president? – seems intent on proving that having been a Harvard law professor is no bar to fatuous policy prescriptions. She has endorsed the farrago of foolishness called the Green New Deal, promises to tax the rich “make the economy work for us,” and recently proposed a shiny new policy idea fresh from 1971 – government-funded, universal pre-school.
Decade after decade, this old chestnut is trotted out as a pro-family, pro-middle class reform, and every time, assumptions about government’s competence to perform this task are blithely assumed.More
Hello you fellow right wing, knuckle-dragging troglodytes and welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast number 213!!! it is the Ten in Twenty edition of the show with your 2 in 2 hosts radio guy Todd Feinburg and AI guy Mike Stopa. We come to you every week….but you *know* that already, don’t you? […]
In my lastcolumn, I explained how Senator Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax violates well-established constitutional limits on income and transfer taxes. Ever since the Sixteenth Amendment legalized the income tax, all taxes on income have been based on some fraction of the amount earned within a given year. And all taxes on capital are imposed only once, namely at their transfer during life or upon death. In contrast, the Warren wealth tax would be imposed annually on all forms of wealth at rates that start at 2 percent for households whose net worth is between $50 million and $1 billion, and 3 percent for households who hold amounts of wealth in excess of $1 billion. The tax applies in both rich and lean years, whether a person makes or loses money.
To defend this dubious scheme on economic grounds, Warren, now a presidential aspirant, relies on a letter prepared by two prominent economists from Berkeley, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, both experts on the economics of inequality. Indeed, it is just there that the problems begin, for any fixation with equality or, as Saez and Zucman call it, equitable growth, rests on shaky premises.More
Keep yucking it up. Talk about Alexandria Occasional Cortex. Hey, it could never happen here right? Not so fast, slick, your laughter is actually based in ignorance or forgetfulness. Stalin engineered a terror famine, the Holodomor, and Mao killed off up to 60 million inconvenient people with his Great Leap Forward. Today, Venezuelans are eating rats. Now are you focused?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist scheme reveals, in its own words, the red origins and aims of the Green movement. Instead of greedy capitalists oppressing wage slaves, evil polluters are killing everyone. those at the top of the intersectional virtue pyramid hit hardest.More
News flash: Fauxcahontas throws her headdress into the ring. Cold omelets with crabmeat for everyone! More
An end to industrial civilization, but like in a totally pro-union way.
If this week’s Green New Deal boomlet was politically significant, it wasn’t just because a legislative newcomer elected by 110,318 voters in Queens and the Bronx proposed a government program to renovate or replace every building in the country within ten years, abolish internal-combustion-engine cars and commercial air travel, shut down all conventional utility generation without building nuclear, phase out flatulent cows, support persons “unwilling” to work, print new paper money to pay for it all, and on and on. New York City voters have elected radical mavericks to Congress before and will do so again.More
As part of her populist presidential campaign, Senator Elizabeth Warren has unveiled a proposal for an annual wealth tax of 2 percent for ultra-rich families whose net worth is between $50 million and $1 billion. That tax would increase to 3 percent for families whose net worth exceeds $1 billion. The tax is on top of many other taxes to which such a family would be subject, including, presumably, the progressive ideal of a 70 percent income tax as well as state and local taxes. The wealth tax would even apply to people whose net worth has declined during the past year so long as they remain above the stated threshold. Cumulative taxes could easily exceed 100 percent of income. That result is not an unanticipated bug but rather an essential feature: Warren wants to mandate greater income equality through tax policy, even if it means leveling down, not up.
In a future column, I shall address the economic ramifications of this proposal. But for now, I turn to the question of the constitutionality of this novel wealth tax. On that topic, Senator Warren offers in support two short letters signed by sixteen prominent American constitutional law scholars that vouch for the constitutionality of her plan.More
Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she wants “billionaires to stop being freeloaders.” It’s a statement akin to the idea that billionaires need to “give back” to society. Which is not how I immediately think about the wealth inequality issue. Surely Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates didn’t begin to “give back” or generate value for society only when he began “giving back” via the Gates Foundation to boost education and reduce global poverty. Society benefited from his role in revolutionizing home computing, generating massive wealth for retirement plans everywhere, and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs over the decades.
Oh, and Gates became superrich in the process. And he should pay taxes. Lots of them. Does he or other wealthy Americans pay anywhere near enough? Warren and many Democrats don’t seem to think so, (although paying for new spending does seem to be the primary concern here). Thus the talk of a wealth tax or a higher top income tax rate. There’s less talk on the left, however, of possible tradeoffs from such ideas. A wealth tax would certainly be a theoretically powerful — though difficult to administer and possibly unconstitutional — way to break up or diminish concentrated wealth. (Many nations that have tried them have since abandoned them.) But there is another side of the story. My AEI colleague Alan Viard notes that wealth taxes of the sort Warren advocates “would be a drain on the pool of American savings, [which] finance the business investment that in turn drives future growth of the economy and living standards of workers.” Something to consider at a time when the American economy faces historically low economic growth due to demographics and low productivity.More
Daniel Foster of National Review Online and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of reports that Elizabeth Warren and her team are still trying to do damage control over her DNA stunt. They also unload on the mainstream media for insisting that every kind word said Wednesday about the late George H.W. […]
I’ve noticed an interesting thing following yesterday’s election: the media may not quite know how to handle Sharice Davids’ win in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District. From the Kansas City Star’s website: “Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, will be the first Native American woman to serve in Congress — a distinction she shared with New […]
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see the Libertarian candidate drop out of the Montana U.S. Senate race and endorse GOP nominee Matt Rosendale against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. They also roll their eyes as “former Republican” Max Boot urges Americans to vote for Democrats in every […]