Politics

The Structure of Political Revolutions

Peter Churins | Freelance Author

In a 1963 book entitled, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, written by Thomas Kuhn, a professor of science history at the University of California, the author theorized that major changes in scientific fields do not evolve gradually, but rather they occur rapidly as beliefs in existing systems breakdown. When old methods won’t solve new problems, new solutions are found and change the underlying tenets by which those systems operate. This is known as a “paradigm shift.”

 

Trump giving speech

 

When old methods won’t solve new problems, new solutions are found and change the underlying tenets by which those systems operate. This is known as a ‘paradigm shift.’

Paradigm shifts are not limited to science or academia, but rather, occur across all types of systems, organizations, and structures – even a nation’s psyche. They are similar to a collective light bulb going off in a group of people’s heads when a better way of doing things comes about. Once adopted, a new paradigm replaces the old and a shift occurs.

Competing paradigms exist in other areas of human endeavor, not just science. For example, communism and capitalism have opposed each other since the turn of the 20th Century. However, communism never gained full traction except within the industries related to Hollywood, which it captured in the 1930s and still controls today. This is why actors, actresses, screen writers, and anything Hollywood are so far left. If one wants to work, he or she must be rabidly liberal. See Tinseltown Travelogue, Part 2 for a full expose.

A new political paradigm began in the tumultuous 1960s spurred on by dissatisfaction with the Vietnam War, African Americans seeking freedom from oppression at home, and the advent of a baby-boom generation coming into maturity. This was a generation that had no inkling of the horrors of World War II or the deprivation of The Great Depression.

This new paradigm was based upon the concepts of social justice, communal sharing, and egalitarianism. It took hold and grew to significant proportions. Socialism was a major tenet and presented a softer face than communism. Redistribution of wealth was easier to sell to impoverished citizens.

Poverty and social programs became the mantra of politicians, but the programs they established often did not work or worked in the opposite direction. Programs grew in size and number and stretched well beyond their original intent. Often these programs benefited administrators and elites rather than the people they were meant to serve. (See Businesses linked to McCaskill’s husband gets $131 million.)

Ironically as America has accumulated huge wealth, it has squandered it due to the increased size of government and irresponsible spending. Our national debt has grown out of control and threatens the viability of America. There is no end to the spending or borrowing.

Today, politicians offer Medicare-for-All while the present system is due to go bankrupt in about ten years. The U.S. Government has spent huge amounts of money on the Federal Department of Education since its establishment in the 1960s, yet the educational achievements of our children have steadily deteriorated from 1st to 17th in the world. Open borders and unlimited illegal immigration are touted as good for America, regardless of the costs.

The power of an un-elected Deep State has grown and hides within a bloated federal government as it challenges our elected institutions. It appears that Hillary Clinton illegally sold uranium assets to the Russians for which she has never been held accountable. She is presently at the center of a silent coup to overturn a duly-elected president. Fake News abounds and the mainstream media promotes its favored political parties and causes.  The list goes on.

However, with the election of President Donald J. Trump a massive paradigm shift may be occurring that will supplant the established order favoring big government and wanton spending.  Had Hillary Clinton been elected president, a totalitarian state based upon radical-socialist principles would have been realized. But she didn’t win, her dream of the presidency was crushed, and the progression toward a communist America was halted.

This is why the Democrat Party is reacting with such vengeance and pulling out all the stops with false accusations and acts of physical aggression towards duly-elected members of Congress or anyone disagreeing with them. It is all in reaction to their loss of power and control and they want it back.


Just Give It Back and Here’s How

Steve Haner | Senior Fellow, Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

A joke making the rounds Wednesday had Governor Ralph Northam agreeing that Virginians did deserve a return of the windfall tax increase flowing to the state due to conformity, but we’d have to take it as Amazon Prime memberships.  Don’t expect laughter if the 2019 General Assembly votes out a massive multi-year incentive package for a super-wealthy corporation and refuses a simple and broad-based tax reform proposal for almost everybody else.

Virginia Fiscal Year 2019 and 2020 additional revenue

Give it back.

In the past few days the General Assembly’s key money committees have discussed what to do about the gush of new revenue the state will garner when it conforms to this year’s new federal tax regime. They should give it back.

After wrestling with different approaches over the last few months and consulting stakeholders, the public policy group I’m affiliated with, the Thomas Jefferson Institute, has settled on two basic steps that have always been on the options short-list.

1) For individual taxpayers, the state should double its standard deduction to $6,000 for individuals and $12,000 for couples. That removes up to $6,000 from the taxable income of an estimated 2.8 million Virginia tax returns, the vast majority of Virginia taxpayers.

2) For Virginia’s incorporated businesses, the corporate income tax rate should be cut from 6 percent currently to 5.5 percent for 2018 and 5.0 percent for 2019.
Both steps should be retroactive to tax year 2018 so they would reduce the taxes you compute for the state in a few months.

Both steps are first steps, because all indications are the state tax increases created by the federal tax changes will accelerate in future, by the state’s own estimates. Even a standard deduction of $12,000 is too low for a family and should rise more.

Neither step squeezes the state budget. The amount of “windfall” revenue returned by these changes is still lower than the estimated new revenue conformity creates. On an individual basis there will still be winners and losers, but the current state budget is not among the losers. No spending need be cut.

The drumbeat on this issue started by multiple posts on Bacon’s Rebellion has spread, sparking only a few comments at a recent House Appropriations Committee meeting and a presentation in front of the Senate Finance Committee Thursday. The tone of the Senate meeting, which I did not attend, may be reflected in this Richmond Times-Dispatch account where any effort to prevent the tax increase is framed as a loss of state revenue.

The Senate Finance staff produced the slide used above which slices the conformity revenue projection a new and useful way. It separates the business tax impacts into two measures, those that show up on individual returns because the business is not incorporated and those that show up on corporate returns. With that split you can see that the state impact of conformity is immediately quite positive to pass-through businesses and immediately a substantial tax increase on corporations.

The way the Northam Administration had packaged the same data implied the impact on business in the first year was minimal. Not so.

The extra $157 million hit to corporations in the first year represents about a 17 percent increase over the the base projection for corporate income taxes … we propose a 17 percent cut in the rate.

The extra $157 million hit to corporations in the first year represents about a 17 percent increase over the base projection for corporate income taxes and (don’t you love it when a plan comes together?) we propose a 17 percent cut in the rate.

The idea of increasing the standard deduction for individuals must also have great appeal, because the Senate is considering a temporary substitute – a tax credit that would have a similar impact for taxpayers (perhaps not as substantial) but would not be a permanent change in the rules. What Virginia needs, and what taxpayers should demand, is a permanent change. The idea that Virginia would continue to stand on its ridiculously low standard deduction deeper into the 21st Century is troubling.

People who have large mortgages, second homes, large local property tax bills, large charitable deductions and other ways to lower their taxes will continue to use them as itemized deductions. Low income and middle-class workers who don’t have those deductions have been stuck with the same inadequate standard deduction for decades. This is the best opportunity to change that since 1987.

State revenues are finally growing again, at least in part because of the economic activity resulting from the federal tax changes. In the first four months of the fiscal year (July-October) revenue shot up ten percent, blowing past a 1.5 percent growth estimate. Both the Senate and the House committee staffs this week projected hundreds of millions in new dollars that are not due to conformity, and not yet committed to any spending requirement.

Both committee staffs were quick to add long lists of unexpected bills showing up, the largest due to errors in Medicaid cost forecasting that are embarrassingly large, large enough to question the competence of the forecasters or the diligence of overseers or both. These Medicaid cost overruns will be among the first things cited by people arguing Virginia cannot afford to offer any tax relief and must keep all the “windfall” dollars.


Understanding the purpose of Confederate memorials

Robert E Lee Monument Avenue

By Hal Jespersen at en.wikipedia – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9064150

by Colonel Richard H. “Dick” Black (USA Ret.)

Member, Virginia House of Delegates, 1998-2006 | GOP Nominee, 2011–Elected to Virginia Senate, 2011

Originally published in the Washington Times

The Virginia General Assembly wisely enacted Va. Code Section 15.2-1812 to protect war memorials from destruction for political reasons.

It provides: “If such [war memorials] are erected, it shall be unlawful to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected.”

Localities erected monuments to those who fought in the War Between the States several decades after the war, while millions of those veterans were still living. The Confederate soldier monument, at the Old Courthouse in Leesburg, was erected in 1908, roughly 43 years after the war ended. Most Confederate veterans would have been in their 60s by then, and many had befriended old adversaries.

In Northern Virginia, John Mosby, the famed “Gray Ghost,” had bedeviled the Union armies with hit-and-run cavalry tactics that earned him a prominent place in Civil War history. After the war, he befriended his old nemesis, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Their friendship began in 1866, when Grant issued him a handwritten safe-conduct pass. Later, Mosby became President Grant’s Republican campaign manager for Virginia, and he was fondly remembered in Grant’s memoirs. In such ways did our nation gradually bind the terrible wounds of our most tragic war. Continue reading


There Is No Debate: It Is Illegal & Unconstitutional No Matter What They Re-Name it!

Bradlee Dean | Sons of Liberty

 “The typical American voter is so stupid, his dog teaches him tricks.” –Jonathan Gruber architect of Romney-Obama-Care 

The hot topic again this week coming from today’s conservatives is an attempt to get you caught up into a debate about what is illegal.  The GOP is attempting to appease the American voter with a change of name again to implement the illegal and unconstitutional “Obamacare” (Mark 8:15).

Look at this word play here America.  First, it was the “RomneyCare.” Then, it became the “Affordable Care Act.”  Now it is the “American Health Care Act.” No matter what it is called, or who the president is who pushes for it and signs it, it is illegal (Psalm 94:20).

Rather than getting caught up into the debate that they want you to get caught up into, the question that should be presented to them who call themselves representatives is, “Where are you deriving your authority from to implement these unconstitutional acts?” It is a question that they simply cannot answer.

In other words, “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they do not have to worry about giving you the right answers.”

Considering that which you have been led to believe concerning Romney-Obama-care and that it is such a good deal (Premiums are skyrocketing) for Americans, why does it not apply to the Congress that approved these unlawful measures?

Exploiting the stupidity of the American voter is fun and easy: kinda like squeezing a lemon.” –Jonathan Gruber architect of Romney-Obama-care

Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.” -Jonathan Gruber architect of Romney-Obama–care

When we’re done with employer-based health insurance, it will have s much life in it as Jimmy Hoffa.” -Jonathan Gruber architect of Romney-Obama-care

P.T. Barnum said a sucker is born every minute, but his estimate was laughably low. -Jonathan Gruber architect of Romney-Obama-care

WorldNet Daily reported on how Obamacare threatens to shred the Constitution.

Here are the top six legal arguments cited in “Impeachable Offenses” challenging the legality of Obamacare.

  1. Taxation without representation

The law appears to violate Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution, which stipulates: “No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”

The section is clarified in the 16th Amendment: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

The Supreme Court ruled the law’s individual mandate requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance is a tax. However, according to experts cited in “Impeachable Offenses,” the mandate does not fit the description of any of the three types of valid constitutional taxes – income, excise or direct.

Write Klein and Elliott: “Because the penalty is not assessed on income, it is not a valid income tax. Because the penalty is not assessed uniformly or proportionately, and is triggered by economic inactivity, it is not a valid excise tax. Finally, because ObamaCare fails to apportion the tax among the states by population, it is not a valid direct tax.”

Despite Obama’s public statements that the individual mandate was not a tax, the Supreme Court ruled June 28, 2012, in a 5 to 4 vote, with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the majority, that the requirement that the majority of Americans obtain health insurance or pay a penalty was constitutional, authorized by Congress’s power to levy taxes.

“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

In a second 5 to 4 vote, again with Justice Roberts joining the majority, the court rejected the administration’s most vigorous argument in support of the law, that Congress held the power to regulate interstate commerce.

The Commerce Clause, the court ruled, did not apply.

However, Klein and Elliott document the White House has been changing the law without involving Congress since the Supreme Court ruling and that multiple sections of the implementation of Obamacare are unconstitutional.

  1. Illegally bypassing Congress? Bribing states?

“Impeachable Offenses” cites Jonathan H. Adler of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Michael F. Cannon of the Cato Institute.

The duo found: “The law encourages states to create health-insurance exchanges, but it permits Washington to create them if states decline. … ObamaCare authorizes premium assistance in state-run exchanges (Section 1311) but not federal ones (Section 1321).

“In other words, states that refuse to create an exchange can block much of ObamaCare’s spending and practically force Congress to reopen the law for revisions.”

The Obama administration, however, was furiously at work in an attempt to avoid a legislative debacle. The administration proposed an IRS rule to “offer premium assistance in all exchanges ‘whether established under section 1311 or 1321,’” Adler and Cannon said.

The Treasury Department, they continued, was “confident” that the IRS had the authority to offer premium assistance where Congress had not authorized it and that this overreach was “consistent with the intent of the law and [its] ability to interpret and implement it.”

“Such confidence is misplaced,” Adler and Cannon asserted. “The text of the law is perfectly clear. And without congressional authorization, the IRS lacks the power to dispense tax credits or spend money.”

In May 2012, the IRS released its final regulations that would “provide guidance to individuals who enroll in qualified health plans through Affordable Insurance Exchanges and claim the premium tax credit, and to Exchanges that make qualified health plans available to individuals and employers.”

Free-market advocate Phil Kerpen, cited in “Impeachable Offenses,” called the regulations an “outrageous edict that attempts to up-end the ability of states to opt out of [Obama’s] health care law’s new entitlement.”

Kerpen called the Obama administration out for what he said was an obvious attempt to “bribe states to participate by manipulating language in the law that is meant to authorize start-up grants to instead fund years of operating expenses.”

Indeed, a July 2012 announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services offered states six full years of funding.

Was the maneuver constitutional? Article I, Section 1 states: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

Congress does not vest the power to write and rewrite laws in HHS and IRS; nor can unelected bureaucrats impose taxes on states that legitimately opted out of a federal program, Kerpen continued.

“Impeachable Offenses” further cites Adler and Cannon on how the IRS went ahead in May 2012 and finalized “a rule that will issue tax credits – and therefore will trigger cost-sharing subsidies and employer-mandate penalties – through federal Exchanges.”

They contended that the rule is not only illegal, but it also lacks any statutory authority.

  1. ‘State’s rights violated’

The 10th Amendment to the Constitution reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Tenth Amendment Center, which was among the plaintiffs that took Obamacare to the Supreme Court, clarifies that the amendment was “written to emphasize the limited nature of the powers delegated to the federal government.”

“In delegating just specific powers to the federal government, the states and the people, with some small exceptions, were free to continue exercising their sovereign powers.”

As of February 2013, only 17 states and the District of Columbia planned to run their own exchanges, while another seven opted for state-federal exchanges. The 26 states that have chosen to opt out entirely challenged the law in the Supreme Court

In January 2010, Ken Klukowski explained that the 10th Amendment does not apply here in the way many people have thought – although it does apply in a more serious manner, “Impeachable Offenses” relates. Klukowski co-authored with former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell the 2010 book “The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency.”

Citing two cases from the 1990s, Klukowski wrote that the Supreme Court “shocked the legal world” by striking the cases down for violating the 10th Amendment.

The first case was in 1992, New York v. United States, in which “the Court struck down a federal law requiring states to pass state laws for the disposal of radioactive waste, and to issue regulations for implementing those laws.”

In the second case, Printz v. United States in 1997, the court “struck down a provision of the Brady Act – a federal gun-control law – that required state and local law enforcement to run background checks on handgun purchasers.”

From these two cases, Klukowski explained, “emerged the anti-commandeering principle, holding that the 10th Amendment forbids the federal government from commandeering – or ordering – any branch of state government to do anything. The states are sovereign and answer only to their voters, not to Washington, D.C.”

The commandeering principle is the real problem for Obamacare, write Klein and Elliott, since the law requires each state to set up an insurance exchange.

“It then requires the states to pass regulations for implementing those laws. And it further requires the states to dedicate staff and spend state money to administer those programs,” said Klukowski.

In his opinion, Obamacare is a “straight-out repeat of those 1992 and 1997 cases.”

“The main difference is that Obamacare violates the anti-commandeering principle in a far more severe and egregious way than those previous laws ever did,” Klukowski concluded.

  1. Originated in Senate?

“Impeachable Offenses” cites Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution, which states: “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.”

The Sacramento, Calif.-based Pacific Legal Foundation filed a challenge to Obamacare that contends it is unconstitutional, because the bill originated in the Senate, not the House.

The foundation claims that under the Origination Clause of the Constitution “all bills raising revenue must begin in the House.”

The tip to follow this course of action came from the Supreme Court itself. In his June 28, 2012, ruling, Chief Justice Roberts took pains in the majority opinion to define Obamacare as a federal tax, not a mandate.

The Justice Department claimed that the bill did not originate as a spending bill and therefore does not violate the Origination Clause.

The bill, which began life as House Resolution 3590, then called the Service Members Home Ownership Act, was stripped of its contents after it passed in the House in a process known as “gut and amend.” The legislation was replaced entirely with the thousands of pages of what eventually became Obamacare and given a new name.

The Obama government’s position is that while using the resolution as a “‘shell bill’ may be inelegant … it’s not unconstitutional.”

The foundation’s response, as documented in “Impeachable Offenses,” was that “it is undisputed that H.R. 3590 was not originally a bill for raising revenue. … Unlike in the prior cases [cited by the Justice Department], the Senate’s gut-and-amend procedure made H.R. 3590 for the first time into a bill for raising revenue. The precedents the government cites are therefore inapplicable.”

While the Justice Department contended that raising revenue was incidental to Obamacare’s “central purpose” – to improve the nation’s health care system – the foundation’s attorney, Timothy Sandefur, disagreed.

“What kinds of taxes are not for raising revenue?” he asked.

  1. Creating commerce

The Commerce Clause, as stated in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, grants Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce, not intrastate commerce, Klein and Elliott note.

Since the 1930s, Supreme Court decisions have interpreted the Commerce Clause broadly,” writes Ilya Somin, an associate professor of law at George Mason University School of Law and co-editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review.

“But every previous case expanding the commerce power involved some sort of ‘economic activity,’ such as operating a business or consuming a product. Failure to purchase health insurance is neither commerce nor an interstate activity. Indeed, it is the absence of commerce,” Somin added.

Georgetown University Law Center professor Randy Barnett, a former student of Harvard Law School professors Charles Fried and Laurence Tribe, “both of whom argued for the constitutionality of the [economic] mandate,” writes Klein and Elliott, has been referred to as “the ‘mastermind’ of the legal challenge” against ObamaCare.

Barnett opined in a March 2011 debate with his former teachers: “Though Congress can compel people to be drafted into the military or sit on a jury, those activities relate to, as the Supreme Court put it, the ‘supreme and noble duty’ of citizenship . . . There is no supreme and noble duty of citizens to enter into contracts with private companies.”

Barnett added that “the mandate would result in a ‘fundamental alteration in the status of American citizens.’”

Even the Congressional Budget Office weighed in, stating in January 2010: “A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”

  1. Illegal penalty?

Obamacare affixes a financial penalty on Americans who fail to purchase health insurance in order to regulate behavior – regulatory powers not granted in the Constitution, documents “Impeachable Offenses.”

Scott P. Richert commented after the Supreme Court ruling: “Congress has been given the green light to do something that even the most imaginative interpretation of the Commerce Clause would not allow: to compel the supposedly free citizens of the United States to purchase anything that Congress deems in those citizens’ best interest – or to compel them to purchase one thing rather than another.”

Richert, who is executive editor of Chronicles, the monthly magazine published by the conservative think tank the Rockford Institute, continued: “All Congress has to do is to pass legislation levying a tax on those who, say, fail to purchase smoke detectors for their homes, or who insist on purchasing a car that runs on gasoline over one that runs on electricity.”

 


HOUSE APPROVES TWO IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT BILLS, DAVIS-OLIVER NEXT?

US Capitol

By UpstateNYer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10123402

Thursday, the House of Representatives approved a pair of immigration enforcement bills—Kate’s Law by a vote of 256-167 (with 24 Democrats crossing the aisle) and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act by a vote of 228-195. The bills, introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) and backed by the White House, seek to enhance public safety by punishing sanctuary cities and criminal aliens who re-enter the U.S. after deportation.

Kate’s Law is a narrow, straightforward bill that increases current maximum sentences for illegal reentry into the United States. However, unlike previous iterations of the bill, it does not create mandatory minimum sentences for illegal reentry, allowing judges to determine the severity of the sentence. The bill’s namesake is Kate Steinle, who was brutally murdered in San Francisco by an illegal alien with seven convictions and five deportations under his belt. Continue reading