A few random reasons I’m pleased Donald Trump won on November 8, 2016.

Let us count some ways…
 
Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks bold truth to the shameful and corrupt United Nations. They aren’t used to that.
 
Secretary James Mattis and US forces have refocused military priorities on effectively defending America and fighting its enemies. The conflict with ISIS has turned in a big way.
 
Secretary Rex Tillerson is not trotting the globe trying to surrender American interests to dictators and global terror leaders.
 
Secretary Scott Pruitt is working hard to bring reason and law to the pursuits of the out-of-control, lawless bureaucrats of the EPA.
 
Secretary Betsy DeVos is working to restore due process to accused students in universities, and working to retract micromanaging regulations in K-12 education.
 
Donald Trump withdrew America’s submission to the Paris Accord, forced unilaterally by Obama and Kerry.
 
Donald Trump is moving to withdraw Obama’s illegal subsidies to insurance companies to make Obamacare appear to work.
 
Donald Trump withdrew America’s participation in the globalist Trans-Pacific Partnership.
 
Donald Trump withdrew Obama’s unilateral bans on drilling in Gulf waters and in the Arctic.
 
Donald Trump refused to lie to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal.
 
Secretary Rick Perry is working to allow energy production, not to choke it.
 
Trump and Pruitt withdrew Obama’s so-called clean power plan, a sweeping takeover of the electric grid and an assault on coal energy.
 
Donald Trump talks about enterprise, business, and profit like they are good for America, not like they are suspect, selfish pursuits that deserve scrutiny and a tight leash.

The Left’s Brazen Claim: What Obama Has Written, Trump Cannot Unwrite.

 
After Americans wearied of “fundamental transformation” and gave Republicans decisive Congressional majorities in the 2014 midterm elections, Barack Obama famously sniffed that he didn’t really need Congress. By the power of his pen and phone alone, he could implement his agenda. He meant it. In the last years and months of his term, without new legislation from Congress, the Obama administration adopted sweeping new regulations on oil and gas mining, electricity generation, federal control of the internet, rewrote federal immigration law, and shoehorned America into a one-sided nuclear pact with Iran without seeking Senate ratification.
 

It was an impressive list of policy ticks. Of course, one problem with ruling by presidential edict is that the next president might decide to reverse course on all those unilateral decisions. At least, that is how it used to work. But, a radical movement of lawyers and judges is trying to turn basic civics and government upside down.

 

Every student learns in grade school that a bill becomes a law only after it’s voted on by both houses of the legislature and signed by the president. Then the president oversees enforcing the law. The new breed of progressive leftist resistance is trying to scrap that historic formula into a one-way liberal ratchet. A new policy becomes law by means of an executive order or regulation, whether Congress acts or not. It gains permanent status when a later president tries to change it, liberal supporters of the prior policy sue to block the change, and activist courts protect it and slap down efforts by later presidents to exercise their own executive power.
 
The new civics is gaining cachet on the Left, which is counting on the judiciary to preserve liberal policy gains from harm by a Republican president and a Republican Congress. Thus, we have such intrusions as an appellate order ruling that the EPA may not postpone enforcing extreme and costly new regulations on oil and gas drilling while it reconsiders the regulation for possible repeal.
 
Similarly, after President Trump announced his intention to withdraw President Obama’s policy on Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, a policy that not only spared “dreamers” deportation, but granted them eligibility for work and benefits, former Homeland Security Head Janet Napolitano announced a legal challenge. There is something blithely and literally lawless about her justification. Napolitano argues that Dreamers are good people in a tough situation, and that DACA was a legitimate exercise in prosecutorial discretion. Well, first, a tough situation doesn’t authorize the president to re-write the law; and second, if the executive branch can use its discretion to alter a statute, Napolitano can offer no reason the same branch is barred from using the same discretion to return to the plain meaning of the law.
 
 
Similarly, after Trump announced plans to end a illegal subsidy that President Obama had engineered to cover insurance losses in Obamacare exchanges, several states have announced plans to sue the administration to keep the subsidies flowing. This case is especially egregious, as Andrew McCarthy explains. A federal judge has already ruled that Congress did not appropriate the funds for the insurance companies and therefore Obama had no authority to give them the money. Trump’s action is simply reverting to the plain language of Obamacare. But, states and Obamacare’s cheerleaders in the national media are excoriating Trump and hoping the courts will save the illegal bacon.
 

The pattern continues in energy development. Obama banned drilling in certain areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic. Trump announced a lifting of the ban, and now environmental groups have filed suit to prevent Trump from exercising independent judgment and going his own way.
 
 
 
In all cases, the litigants are unconcerned and unembarrassed that they are asking courts to rule president number 45 does not have exactly complementary powers to decide and act on the same issues as president number 44. Their attitude is, we won it under Obama, and we are entitled to keep it under anyone else. Thanks to Harry Reid doing away with the filibuster for lower courts, the appellate courts are stacked with fresh Obama appointees eager to protect his legacy. Thanks to Mitch McConnell taking the next step and abolishing the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, the high court might have something to say about that.

Government Beggars, Bluffers, and Bullies, and the Truth about Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

They fib about everything. In their endless campaign to get their hands deeper into Coloradans’ pockets, all the government pleaders, the non-profit advocates, the squinting analysts, and the sniffing journalists agree on their biggest enemy. The main target, the bête noir, the great white whale, public sector enemy number one is the Colorado Taxpayers Bill of Rights, the TABOR Amendment.
 
The taxing crew is forever trying to convince the skeptical public that TABOR, adopted by voters in 1992, has changed Colorado from a bountiful land of milk and honey into a North American colony of Somalia. This post is the first in a Tribe series that will explain why that charge is bogus and the taxers know it’s bogus.
 
The Moaners’ Litany:
 
First lets review a few of the descriptions of TABOR from the taxers.
 
The Denver Post is more measured than most when it says TABOR is “inefficient and ultimately hurtful to our growing state. [snip] TABOR’s powerful check on government spending in reality has been a padlock on the purse-strings. [snip] We are convinced Colorado needs more revenue to fund the quality of life we’ve all come to expect from this great state.”
 
 
The Colorado Fiscal Institute laments that TABOR saddles the state with “antiquated tax policy” that produces “painful results.”
 
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warns that TABOR is a “formula for decline” that causes “essentially a permanent revenue shortage” that “slowly starves the services on which state residents rely”
 
And, of course, to protect the children, the National Education Association weighs in to condemn TABOR as
“a proven failure” that is “destroying public services in Colorado.”
 
Simple Proof They are All Dissembling:
 
So, are the critics right? Is Colorado withering on the vine? Does state government lack the resources to provide quality modern services? Does its budget put it in the company the bottom 10% or 5% of states? Or closer to the level of a developing nation?
 
Not at all, any of that. The basic budget fact is that Colorado has about as much money for its population as any other state. Less than some, more than others, and above the national average.
A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation (no libertarian outfit) analyzed the budgets of all 50 states, including general funds, federal funds, and other state funds. The study reports Colorado at $6,320, ranks 23rd in per capita spending, right in the pack and a little above the middle.
 
It’s a very interesting list, and poses questions about some of the high and low placers. But, importantly, here are a few of the states that spend less per capita than Colorado: 26. Maine–$5,811; 28. Pennsylvania–$5,746; 31. Virginia–$$5,623; 32. Ohio–$$5,609; 33. Washington–$5,598; 34. Michigan$5,364;
 
As it turns out, California, at $6,420 lands just three spots above our Rocky Mountain home. And if government spending more money is the key to better living, why are so many Californians coming to Colorado? The US average, incidentally, is $5,777, landing between 27 Nebraska and 28 Pennsylvania. Colorado spends 9% more than the national average on each of its residents
.
The takeaway from these figures is that money, like all resources is finite. We all would like more. Your kid’s baseball team holds fundraisers because it needs more. Your school PTA does too. And the Girl Scouts. Every person, family, institution, and government would like and could use more money.
 
But, next time of one of Colorado’s public money hungry sob sisters tells you that TABOR is tightening his/her corset, don’t give in to guilt. Don’t let them off the hook without demanding better information. Smile and ask, why are you such a poor budgeter? Why do you need 9% more than Virginia for decent schools? Why do you need 9% more than Washington for decent roads? Why do you need 8% more than Kansas to provide health and human services?
 
The answers should be enlightening.
 
To be continued…
 
 
 

President Trump’s Strange Medicine for Healthcare

 
 
The prospects are looking dimmer for the Senate to adopt a repeal of Obamacare. Lawmakers are returning from a two week recess under pressure to take up the House-passed ACHA. Congressional leaders have praised the bill but public response has been mixed. Conservatives complain the measure leaves too much of Obamacare’s structure in place, while liberals complain it removes critical safeguards for the poor and vulnerable.

President Trump waded into the controversy with a cryptic tweet: “I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere. ObamaCare is dead – the Republicans will do much better!” This is puzzling. America spends more per capita on healthcare than any other nation. A study by the Commonwealth Fund reports:

The U.S. spent more per person on health care than 12 other high-income nations in 2013, while seeing the lowest life expectancy and some of the worst health outcomes among this group, according to a Commonwealth Fund report out today. The analysis shows that in the U.S., which spent an average of $9,086 per person annually, life expectancy was 78.8 years. Switzerland, the second-highest-spending country, spent $6,325 per person and had a life expectancy of 82.9 years. Mortality rates for cancer were among the lowest in the U.S., but rates of chronic conditions, obesity, and infant mortality were higher than those abroad.
 
Whichever direction healthcare policy goes, it is not a reasonable premise that the system needs more dollars. If conservatives win the day and push delivery of health more toward a market system, it is hoped that will create competitive forces and efficiency that reduce medical costs, not increase them. Conversely, if liberals gain power and increase government administration of health care, it should be with an intent to allocate efficiently and hold costs down. In either case, “lets spend more on healthcare” is not a reasonable starting point for the discussion of reform.
 

It Is All About Control

I hear and read the daily screeching about universal healthcare and free college and endless items to which people believe they are entitled.

Entitled is the correct word here and this is why: be it healthcare or housing or education or anything else there is nothing preventing these folks from forming voluntary associations in order to collectively accomplish these goals among themselves without the use of government what so ever.
There is nothing stopping these people from forming organizations to collectively cover healthcare cost or education cost or housing cost. There is nothing stopping these people from sitting down and writing a check themselves.
However that is not what they want to occur and not what they will do. What they want to have happen is to have government pass laws and create regulations to control the lives of others. If this was not the case they would have formed these voluntary organizations in order to accomplish these goals by now – but they have not.
Hence the only logical conclusion to draw is that it has nothing to do with healthcare or housing or education – it has everything to do with controlling your neighbor and helping yourself to your neighbors stuff.
It is all about control – not helping other humans. If you believe otherwise, no matter how sincerely believe that, you are being conned.
It is all about control.

The House Healthcare Reform

The healthcare reform bill passed by the House yesterday is an improvement on Obamacare – and in some respects a major improvement. I do not consider that a debatable point. It is better than Obamacare.

 

What is debatable is if it is better enough?

 

Much in the same way that the argument is made that Trump is better than Hillary the argument that the House version of healthcare reform is better than Obamacare misses the point. Will it / can it solve the problems we have?

 

Of that I am doubtful. Making it ‘better’ and solving the problem are not the same things. True of Trump and true of healthcare reform.

 

Claiming Trump is better than Hillary or that GOP healthcare reform is better than Obamacare is a very low bar.

 

Clearing that low bar does not equate to success.

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