Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Politics of the Absurd

Senator Elizabeth Warren is going to use the proceeds of her “wealth tax” to eliminate all outstanding student debt, provide free college tuition for everybody, subsidize lodging costs while in college, and expand Pell grants. Other things too, but those are the big ones. It sounds lovely, if you’re a complete idiot.

The wealth tax is scheduled to bring in $2.75 trillion, but that’s in ten years (assuming that the tax is constitutional), so it’s actually $275 billion per year. What can actually be done with that?

Well, you can’t cancel all student debt very quickly, because it currently stands at $1.5 trillion. You would have to devote the entirety of the wealth tax revenue to that purpose for 5.45 years to pay off today’s outstanding student debt, during which time you could do nothing else with it.

Free college tuition for everybody? In-state tuition at state college averages $9970 per year, and there are roughly 20 million people in college at any one time. So providing college tuition, and only tuition, comes to $200 billion per year, or about 73% of the wealth tax revenue. Doesn’t leave room for much help with college housing costs, or the addition of a whole lot of Pell grants, does it?

Let’s see, $75 billion left, divided by 20 million college students… That comes to about $3750 annually per student for food and housing. Certainly not eating steak. Sorry, no additional Pell grants.

Not to mention that you can’t start doing it for more than five years because you’ve been paying off student loans all that time. Or, after those five years plus, are you still paying off more loans that were incurred while you were not providing free tuition because you were paying off outstanding loans instead?

There’s a few other problems with her program. She’s proposing to use a federal tax to pay for tuition at state universities and colleges. In addition to the items mentioned above, she has a long laundry list of programs she plans to fund with this wealth tax, including universal child care.

Probably $3 trillion per year worth of programs that she plans to fund with a tax that is something of a long shot to even be enacted, and that at best will bring in $2.75 trillion in ten years. This is politics of the absurd.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Bypassing the Constitution

Kamela Harris promises dictatorship, and Democrats cheer wildly.

“If Congress does not pass the gun control laws that I want within 100 days,” she promises, “then I will create those laws by executive order.”

We don’t need no steenkin constitution.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

New One Just Like the Old One

Our 35-year-old garage door opener finally bit the dust, so we have a nice shiny new one now, which is an improvement on the old one in only one feature, other than that the new one works.

The new door opener is connected to the Internet so that if I am having lunch at a nice restaurant in Old Town I can look at my iPhone and verify that my garage door is closed or, if it is not, close it from wherever I am.

I am unconvinced that this feature is of any conceivable use whatever. In some fifty years of having a garage, not one time have I ever been having a nice lunch in Old Town (or anywhere else, for that matter) and suddenly wondered about the status of my garage door. I am extraordinarily unlikely to have that experience any time soon.

I downloaded the “app” and made the connection simply to see if I could, and to see if it actually worked. It does. Big whoop. Does that make me a Luddite?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Why They Are So Angry

I don’t know who PJ Media is, and don’t really care. I don’t read it, but saw this quoted today regarding why Democrats and the media are so hot about the press conference held by Attorney General Barr this morning. “They are upset,” PJ Media tells us, “because, as with Barr’s four-page letter, they don’t want Barr ‘setting the narrative.’ They have explicitly stated as much.”

What that boils down to is that today’s voting public does not examine things and decide for themselves what to think. Democrats know that the voting public has the attention span of a gnat and is not going to read a 400-page report, but is going to think whatever they it is told about the report. They are really pissed off that AG Barr beat them to the punch.

The point is proven by the fact that Democrats and the media are calling Barr a liar, and worse, within minutes receiving their copies of the report, after claiming last week that 48 hours was too soon for him to have produced a summary of it.

PJ Media also illustrated the intelligence of the media by citing an exchange from the press conference, when a “reporter” asked Mr. Barr why her referred to the intense scrutiny and investigation of Trump’s presidency, family and associates as “unprecedented.”

“Has it happened before?” Barr asked the “reporter."

When the "reporter" acknowledged that it had not, Barr explained, “Then it is unprecedented.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Convention Center Update

Not only is it still ugly, it’s even uglier than previous iterations. This dog has failed three times, and it keeps coming back. It was not on the 2018 November ballot because the petition did not have enough signatures and Hizzoner the mayor was unable to browbeat the City Council into putting it on the ballot after the citizens of the city said they didn’t want it to be there.

So this year Hizzoner didn’t even bother with a public petition, but went to the City Council and not only got them to put it in the ballot, but managed to browbeat them into putting it onto the primary election ballot in March despite a city rule put in place in 2016 as a result of citizens initiative Measure L.

Measure L passed with a 66% affirmative vote and requires that all initiatives be placed on the general election ballot rather than the primary, an election in which far fewer people vote. The purpose is, obviously, to be sure that such initiatives better reflect the will of the people.

Hizzoner obviously does not care about the will of the people, something which has become clear al all levels of government today. Not only is he getting this dead dog placed on the ballot without getting input from the citizenry in the form of a petition drive, which he knows would fail, but he is getting it placed into the primary election, a process which he knows the citizenry opposes, and which he dreams improves the chance of him getting it to pass.

Monday, April 15, 2019

It's Back, and It Still Stinks

The “Hotel Tax Initiative” is back, with supporters so hot to trot that they don’t want to wait for the November 2020 election but want it to be placed on a March election ballot. The earlier election, a primary, has far fewer voters, making it a bit more likely that the measure would pass.

The measure funds three “important” needs for our city; three things that we desperately need, cannot do without, but that we certainly do not want to pay for ourselves. This is America, after all, and we never want to pay for benefits.

The first need, and the one cited in the name of the proposition, is expansion of the city’s convention center. On the face of it, this makes a certain amount of sense, in that visitors are paying the cost of having better facilities for their conventions. But what about visitors who are coming here specifically and only for the weather and beaches? Why should they be paying for a convention center that in no way benefits them?

One person countered that by arguing that as a childless person, why should I pay school taxes? I imitated a duck falling from the ceiling. (You don’t remember Groucho Marx?) As part of this city, I am responsible for contributing to the city’s accomplishment of its responsibility to educate its children.

Expansion of the convention center benefits the city, in fact, by attracting larger conventions and increasing revenue from tourism. Since we benefit from that investment, we should be willing to bear the cost of it.

The second need is to provide housing for the homeless. Typical of modern liberalism. We want to do good work, but we want someone else to pay for it. Put your money where your mouth is. If you don't want to pay for it, you are not doing good work. You are advocating for someone else to do good work.

The third need is road repairs, which us utterly ridiculous. Why should someone visiting here from Phoenix pay to repair our roads? Are we going to return the favor by paying to repair the roads in Phoenix? If we want better roads then we need to cough up the money and pay for our own roads.

This damned initiative is like an infestation of rats. It stinks and every time you think you’ve gotten rid of it, it comes back.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Embracing Stupidity

Democratic members of the Senate have introduced a bill to amend the constitution, proposing to determine the election of the president by means of the national popular vote. Dianne Feinstein is among that crowd, saying that the Electoral College “does not reflect the will of the people.”

I don’t think there’s any reason to panic, because there is no chance in hell that this idiocy will ever pass in Congress, and not to mention surviving a presidential veto. There is even less chance that it would be ratified by 38 states, but that members of the Senate would submit it is cause for concern.

I might expect this kind of idiocy from members of Generation X or Millennials who have been enstupidated by attending schools which give out “participation trophies,” but that a person who has been a federal legislator for more than fifty twenty five years would say something like that represents a rather frightening level of demagoguery.

Dianne Feinstein should know that this nation is not governed by “the will of the people” nationally or directly. In all aspects of governance, as is very clearly spelled out in the constitution, this nation is governed by the will of the states, and the Electoral College very rationally represents the will of the states.

This nation is a democracy “at one remove,” since each state is governed by the will of the people, but the national popular vote is entirely meaningless and Dianne Feinstein knows that very well.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Modern Military

NBC News did a segment about our response to increased “Russian aggression in Europe” the other night, which was to send a flight of B-52s to Poland.   BUFFs. “Big Ugly Fat Fuckers.”

Probably had the Russians crapping in their pants.

Don’t get me wrong, the B-52 is an awesome airplane, but this is the same bomber that the Russians were shooting down over Vietnam fifty years ago. Is it likely that Russia has improved its anti-aircraft weaponry in the last half century? I suspect it has.

The youngest B-52 is 57 years old. These airplanes are being flown by pilots whose grandfathers flew the same airplanes. Not the same type of airplanes, the same airplanes. The B-1 is supersonic, and the B-2 is invisible to radar, but when we want to scare the Russians what do we send? Half century old BUFFs, which are subsonic and about as stealthy as turds in a punchbowl.

There’s really something wrong with us.