It’s not surprising that the Democrats are nostalgic about The New Deal. It changed the country’s relationship to the government in a way that cemented their dominance in Congress for a couple of generations. They now have their hands around the House of Representatives, and they’re looking to add the Senate in 2020.
The New Deal also locked in Progressive domination of the Supreme Court for many years. FDR’s threat of expanding the court by packing it with additional justice who would rule in his favor effectively slowed judicial opposition to The New Deal so that the appointments during the 20 years of the Roosevelt/Truman administration could remake the balance of the judiciary.
Politico has a post up about 2020 Democrat presidential candidates starting to talk about packing the Supreme Court. Pete Buttigieg (who?) and Beto O’Rourke have said that they might expand the court. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand also have said they might favor such an expansion.
“We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court,” said Harris (D-Calif.). “We have to take this challenge head on, and everything is on the table to do that.”
Gillibrand said in an interview that she believes that Justice Neil Gorsuch essentially possesses an illegitimate seat after Garland was denied even a committee hearing. The New York Democrat added that the Senate should move swiftly to impose strict ethics rules on the Supreme Court.
“It’s not just about expansion, it’s about depoliticizing the Supreme Court,” said Warren (D-Mass.), who mentioned bringing appellate judges into Supreme Court cases as an option.
Again, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Left has lost confidence in a court that has become more originalist in its outlook and less supportive of a living constitution that morphs into whatever Progressive cause du jour demands, and we should expect some of them to try to sell the idea of court packing through expansion during the coming election cycle.
All we have to do is adopt the magic of so-called New Monetary Theory which states that a government that borrows in its own currency doesn’t need to worry about debt because it can print money to pay the debt. If the Green Nude Eel is only going to cost around 90 trillion bucks and we use one of these, we should have change coming.
Of course, that’s not how money works. Things didn’t work out well for Rome when it debased its money, and over the last century, we’ve seen what happened in the Weimar Republic and Zimbabwe and, currently, Venezuela. As John Hinderacker points out in a post at PowerLine, Modern Monetary Theory is universally regarded by economists as a crackpot idea.
So it’s unanimous: Modern Monetary Theory, the Democratic Party’s latest ticket to the promised land, is a fraud. And not a modern one, either.
Speaking of socialism…I heard an observation yesterday, in the context of Venezuela, that was striking and true. If I could remember who said it, I would credit him. Here it is:
You can vote your way into socialism, but you have to shoot your way out.
Another reason why we need the Second Amendment.
As Ben Franklin said when asked what kind of government was being formed at the Constitutional Convention, “A republic if you can keep it.”
The Foundation for Economic Education has a post up explaining how the rich could pay for that list of Progressive freebies: $47 billion on free college tuition; $1 trillion for new infrastructure; $1.4 trillion to write off student loan debt; at least $7 trillion on a Green New Deal; $32 trillion on “Medicare for All.” We can simply adopt tax schemes similar to those used in countries such as France, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland.
If Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Warren want the federal government to collect European shares of national income, they will have to adopt European tax systems. That means higher income taxes on the middle class, higher payroll taxes, and higher consumption taxes. According to the Congressional Budget Office, raising $32 trillion in tax revenue would require adding 36 percentage points to the marginal tax rate of every federal income taxpayer in the United States. Not just the rich—everyone. The single woman earning $82,500 and the couple earning $165,000 would see their rates soar from 24 percent to 60 percent.
To borrow from P. J. O’Rourke, the good news is that the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that you’re rich.
Finland collects about 43 percent of GDP in taxes, and that isn’t enough. Fuzzy Slippers reports at Legal Insurrection that Finland’s government has collapsed because of the cost of universal health care: #Bernie2020 hardest hit.
Finland has long been touted by American socialists as the socialist Nirvana, where everything is free and everyone is happy, happy, happy. Sadly, fiscal reality hit Finland’s government as it collapsed Friday due to the rising costs of its universal health care.
The warning signs were on the wall last spring when Finland … ended its experiment with “universal basic income.”
Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has been hanging his socialist mantle on the “success” of Finland’s socialist structure, may be the hardest hit.
There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
Colorado lost its first attempt to crush Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop in a 7-to-2 Supreme Court decision affirming the baker’s First Amendment right to practice his religion and not bake a cake dedicated to promoting something contrary to his beliefs. In response, the Colorado (so-called) Civil Rights Commission filed a second case against Phillips. In response, Phillips sued the Commission in federal court alleging violation of his civil rights.
The Daily Signal reports that both the Commission and Phillips have dropped their cases.
The members of the state’s commission could have been held “personally liable” for harassment if the matter continued, said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
“It’s probably because they may have finally gotten scared that they were going to get hit with sanctions for, in essence, directly thumbing their nose at the Supreme Court and the court’s decision in this issue,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal. “It could make them personally liable for damages if they abuse their positions to try to harass an individual.”
In the 7-2 majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: “The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated [Phillips’] objection[.]”
It’s amazing how the possibility of being held personally responsible for one’s virtue signaling can change someone’s perspective. Actual accountability and the possibility of real consequences usually moderates behavior.
We need to see more of this.
The Progressives believe that they can declare their cities and counties “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants where local officials do not have to cooperate with the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The mostly Democrat politicians who run those jurisdictions presume they can nullify federal laws on their turf.
John Calhoun was unavailable for comment, but local officials in other jurisdictions were.
According to Reuters, the sheriffs in many jurisdictions (including some here in Maryland) are saying that they will refuse to enforce unconstitutional firearm laws being passed by state legislatures. Over sixty cities and counties in Illinois have declared themselves sanctuaries for gun owners should pending legislation pass. In Oregon, voters in eight counties approved Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances last November that allow sheriffs to determine which state gun laws to enforce. More such ballot measure are on the way in that state.
If the New Rule is that local officials can nullify federal laws, then other local officials should also be able to nullify state laws. If the Progressives can do it, then surely we Normals (I like Kurt Schlichter’s term for us) can as well. Alinsky’s Rule 4 states: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
They’re not going to enjoy it.
The AP reports that the Trump/Kim summit in Hanoi has broken up early because of a failure to reach a deal.
Trump, in a news conference after the summit abruptly shut down early, blamed the breakdown on North Korea’s insistence that all punishing sanctions that the U.S. has imposed on Pyongyang be lifted without the country committing to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.
“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump explained, adding that he had a proposed agreement that was “ready to be signed.”
“I’d much rather do it right than do it fast,” the president said. “We’re in position to do something very special.”
Part of the art of the deal is the ability to patiently get up from the table and walk away until the other side is able to give you what you need. Trump, like Reagan with Gorbachev in 1987, seems willing to use that negotiating option. I wish him luck.
The AP couldn’t resist inserting this into the middle of their story—
The breakdown denied Trump a much-needed victory amid growing domestic turmoil back home, including congressional testimony this week by his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who called Trump a “racist” and “conman” and claimed prior knowledge of foreign powers’ efforts to help Trump win in 2016.
If the imagined fallout for Cohen’s testimony was part of the calculus for either side in the negotiation, Trump’s apparent non-concern for it should work to his advantage by demonstrating a resolve not to let domestic U.S. issues adversely affect a nuclear deal.