Tag: taxes

Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching Howard Schultz and Elizabeth Warren trade insults over Warren’s proposed wealth tax and shudder to think that Schultz might be the most sensible liberal considering a 2020 presidential run. They also slam Kamala Harris for suggesting that lawmakers who don’t support gun control don’t care about the victims of mass shootings and contending that if Republicans saw photos of murdered children that they would vote differently. And they laugh and cringe as the chairwoman of a California State Senate committee bans the use of gendered pronouns in committee – and then proceeds to violate her own rule over and over again.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of CNN commentator Areva Martin telling radio host David Webb his success is a result of white privilege – until Webb tells her he is black. They’re also aghast as 59 percent of registered voters support a 70 percent marginal tax rate on the nation’s highest earners, including 45 percent of Republicans. And they shake their heads as Beto O’Rourke openly wonders whether our “empire” can “still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago.”

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America think President Trump did alright in his speech and agree that his presentation was better than the stiff stares of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. They also shake their heads in wonder as more Democrats embrace huge tax increases and government-run health care and Jim breaks down the truly radical ideas contained in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. And speaking of the new congresswoman, Jim unleashes a fantastic rant after Ocasio-Cortez suggests on national television that the people trying to enter the U.S. illegally are more American than people who want a border wall.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Before We Crank Up Tax Rates, Let’s Have a Smart Debate


It now seems there’s going to be a national conversation about whether top federal tax rates should be dramatically higher. And for that, you can partially credit first-term House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — as well as the extreme media attention given to her every policy utterance. But only partial credit here. At a time of a) high national debt that’s heading even higher, and b) increased inequality — including the creation of some truly massive personal fortunes — it’s a discussion that was probably inevitable.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are grateful to see House Democrats revealing their real goals right from the start – impeachment, huge tax increases, abolishing the electoral college – and hope Americans see what they’d be getting if Democrats also controlled the Senate and the White House. As the partial government shutdown creeps towards three weeks, some conservatives are concluding that because their lives haven’t changed much, the impacted agencies aren’t really needed. Jim explains why that conclusion is badly misguided. And they throw up their hands as the mainstream media concoct the narrative that Republicans condemned Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for dancing in a video, when only one anonymous Twitter user lashed out and any conservative who weighed in on the matter defended the congresswoman.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and and Greg Corombos of Radio America find themselves drowning in crazy martinis again today. They slap their foreheads as a new GOP congressman from Tennessee – who is also a doctor – appears to tell a constituent that he’s hesitant to accept the government’s denial that childhood vaccinations cause autism and says he thinks the Centers for Disease Control have “fraudulently managed” data on the issue. They also rub their hand with glee at the possibility of political inroads with young people as Democratic regulators in California consider a tax on text messaging and then consider some far more annoying aspects of modern communication that ought to be taxed. And they can only smile as Nancy Pelosi somehow jumps on the bandwagon for term limits in the Democratic leadership in exchange for four more years as Speaker of the House.

Daniel Foster of National Review Online and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the French people for forcing their government to suspend implementation of new fuel taxes, although their tactics leave a lot to be desired. They also shake their heads as Congress punts any tough spending decisions to Dec. 21 and appears unwilling to do much of anything to rein in spending. And the liberal site Slate draws an avalanche of condemnation for trashing the late Pres. Bush’s service dog, suggesting there should be no sentimental reaction to the dog since Bush only had him since June.

Daniel Foster of National Review Online and Greg Corombos of Radio America reflect on the life and political legacy of President George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday. They applaud Bush’s service in World War II and many stops in his career of public service and also remember his leadership and the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union crumbled, his successes in the Gulf War, and his support for embattled Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. They also wince at some low points, namely the selection of David Souter to the Supreme Court and breaking his pledge never to raise taxes. And they point out that while the media is largely extolling Bush for his leadership and decency today, their despicable coverage of Bush during his political career painted a much different picture.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America hope the accuser is OK but cannot miss the irony of lawyer Michael Avenatti begging for the presumption of innocence after being charged with domestic violence and just a month after trying to destroy Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with no evidence. They also welcome New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s explanation that his state offered $1.5 billion in tax incentives to Amazon because it’s tax rates are too high for New York to compete with places like Texas on a level playing field. And they roll their eyes as Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown and Corey Booker insist Stacey Abrams must win the Georgia governor’s race or else it was stolen by Republicans. They also cringe as President Trump claims people vote multiple times by changing clothes and getting back in line and that people get voter ID by buying cereal.

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David Brooks on culture and economics. Brooks completely ignores how integral coercion is to the Democratic platform. What Brooks calls materialism (redistribution) is a major component, but it is the open coercion that is more likely to bother people. Materialism involves coercion (taxation is theft), but forcing schools to allow men into women’s bathrooms and […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Richard Epstein on Classical Liberalism, the Administrative State, Free Speech, and Silicon Valley Regulation


For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had legendary classical liberal legal theorist and longtime professor at University of Chicago Law School and now at NYU Law — and prodigious Ricochet podcaster Professor Richard Epstein on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The role that Professor Epstein’s famous book, “Takings” played in Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing — and then-Senator Joe Biden’s hectoring
  • Professor Epstein’s groundbreaking theories on private property rights, eminent domain and the Takings and Commerce Clauses
  • The practical argument against progressivism
  • Whether we should deconstruct the administrative state, and if so how to do it
  • The danger to free speech emanating from college campuses in a world of microaggressions, trigger warnings, de-platforming
  • The folly of regulating Silicon Valley social media companies
  • Classical liberalism versus socialism and libertarianism

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found or download the episode directly here.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The New Battle in Seattle: Don’t Blame Amazon for the City’s Housing Woes


Seattle has decided to be a last-minute entrant into the competition for Amazon’s HQ2. But while most cities — such as Boston and Washington — are trying to land the retailing giant’s second headquarters, Seattle is doing its best to make Amazon reconsider the importance of its current home base. The company “will continue to evaluate its long-term plans for Seattle after the City Council passed a bill to tax large businesses to fund homelessness services,” according to the Seattle Times. Recall that when a larger tax was being considered, Amazon had halted planning one new office building and was considering subleasing the office space on another that’s under construction.

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This story continues with some reactions from the community. First part is here. Sometimes, at community events with constituents, Seattle City Councilmemberperson Mo will bring up the idea of trolling downtown streets. Preview Open

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I couldn’t resist passing on this news item, inspired by Seattle Times staff reporter David Gutman. Seattle will develop a plan to troll city roadways as part of its efforts to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse-gas emissions, Mayor said Tuesday. Preview Open

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “Personal Responsibility” Means Nothing Anymore


Today Walter Williams in his syndicated column reminded me (like I needed to be reminded) that people simply don’t care about personal responsibility anymore. He gives a number examples of how the culture has changed, and writes about companies that advertise the ways people can get out of their debt. They promote steps people can take to “quickly be debt free.” Essentially, because someone carelessly and thoughtlessly used a credit card to satisfy their materialistic needs, the companies are paying for it. Even Dave Ramsey, a financial expert and person of high moral values whom I greatly admire, encourages people to negotiate with companies to lower their debt, and for a fraction of what they owe.

Then we have the Federal Student Aid program, which provides a means for students to have their loans forgiven, canceled, or discharged. At first, when looking at the requirements, I thought that the criteria made sense; then I realized how any creative person could play with those guidelines:

Teddy Kupfer of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer President Trump’s selection of John Bolton as National Security Adviser and look forward to his tough stance on North Korean nukes and the Iran nuclear deal while liberals fear that Bolton will start bombing everyone. They also unload on the bloated $1.3 trillion omnibus that the majority of Republican representatives and senators approved, much to the delight of Democrats and the fury of fiscal conservatives. Teddy and Greg understand the desire of Republicans to rebuild the military but find the reckless spending in other areas unacceptable. They scratch their heads trying to figure out why more than half of millennials actually enjoy doing their taxes. And they offer a champagne toast to the late Democratic Georgia Gov. and Sen. Zell Miller and reflect upon his memorable keynote address at the Republican convention in 2004.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Immigrants from New Jersey: Welcome!


It looks like us “halfback” states might be seeing immigrants from New Jersey soon. If you folks from New Jersey come to South Carolina, we kindly ask you to observe some rules of civilized behavior:

  1. Don’t bring your New Jersey politics with you. Many of you flee the places where your policies are enacted, yet you try to reinstate those policies here. Just say no.
  2. Respect Southern heritage. In spite of all the statue removals and battle flag removals you read about, Southern pride still reigns supreme down heyah. Don’t bad-mouth the South, and learn to love pulled pork and fried chicken. While you’re at it, buy a pickup truck. They’re pretty handy for hauling stuff.
  3. Don’t complain about the heat and humidity, and we won’t complain about what little snow and ice we get.
  4. Although there are many colleges here, everyone has to choose between Clemson or South Carolina. Pick one, and at least pretend to be a fan.
  5. Don’t panic if you see someone with a gun. Most folks down here have one or more, even liberals.
  6. And finally, don’t tell us how much you liked your old state. If you miss it so much, move back!

Observe these things, and we’ll get along just fine. There are many other rules, but they will be in the Welcome to South Carolina packet issued to you after you arrive. If the @bethanymandel family moves here, my wife and I will provide personalized instruction (including Southern voice lessons) to ease the transition…

Tariffs and the looming threat of a trade war, the White House shaking up its economic team, and the president suggesting another round of tax cuts begs the question: what next in Washington, DC? Dr. Michael J. Boskin, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and the Tully M. Friedman Professor of Economics at Stanford University, discusses what President Trump can do to keep the economy growing and takes a look at the financial health of California—the scene of this week’s visit by President Trump.

Richard Epstein opines on whether Donald Trump or Barack Obama deserves more credit for the current economic expansion, then tackles the policy agenda the president laid out in his State of the Union address.

Victor Davis Hanson describes how Donald Trump is systematically dismantling the legacy of the Obama Administration … and explains why it’s paying such rich dividends for the country.