Public/Pirate partnerships

Friday, I noted Michigan’s private marketing bureau rip-off. It just gets worse.

Michigan Senate Bill 97. Emphasis mine:

To give state and local government agencies the power to enter into joint operating arrangements with a particular business for purposes of building a hospital or transportation facilities. The private operator would benefit from tax exemptions and its governmental partner’s power to impose property taxes, borrow, take private property using eminent domain and more. The government agency involved could choose the private sector actor without necessarily having to accept the lowest bid. The projects could be proposals from a private developer.

This is just a corporate version of the SEIU dues scam and is no less reprehensible simply because there’s a different set of government approved thieves. The Granholm Democrats licensed a union to steal Medicaid dollars from taxpayers. The Snyder Republicans are getting ready to legalize similar looting by Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, and Matty Maroun (owner of the Ambassador Bridge). Of course, it’s endorsed by the Chamber of Cronyism.

H/T Right Michigan where you can find out who to call to kill this assault on Michigan taxpayers.

Rent Seekers

Bills Make It Easier For Private Marketing Bureaus To Force Dues on Businesses

This regulatory statist, public/pirate partnership should cease. The parallels (rent-seeking and arbitrary, bureaucratic consumer punishment) to Trump’s trade war impulses are educational opportunities for the economically ignorant.

Update 01/13/17:
It occurs to me to ask how this is different from the SEIU dues-skimming travesty?

Art of the Steal

Worth a read: The Art of the (Trade) Deal, according to the Trump administration

A nice exploration of the practical effects of TrumpTrade. The concluding paragraph:

In sum, the art of the trade deal according to the Trump administration teaches us that Americans win when the dollars in our pockets buy less in global markets; when we pay higher prices for the goods and services we use every day; when U.S. producers face higher costs of production than their foreign competitors; and when the taxes we pay buy less infrastructure and national defense.

The author neglected to add to the summary, “…when there are fewer American jobs; and when regulatory capture, financed by political contributions, becomes a standard method of excluding small competitors from markets.”

Econ 001

If you read the brief articles below, you’ll have a better understanding of the obstacles the President elect faces in implementing his economic agenda, and you’ll understand the damage much of that agenda will do.

Reason Magazine:
A Stronger Economy Will Also Destroy Jobs, but It’s Necessary
Luddites need not apply.

The Brookings Institution:
Global economic forces conspire to stymie U.S. manufacturing
Stopping productivity increases will preserve jobs for some and destroy jobs for many others. All of them will be poorer.

The Foundation for Economic Education:
Taxing Global Trade Is Not Deregulation
The Regulatory State is where you find it.

I heard some guy named Sexton (guest hosting for Rush) making excuses for cronyism and protectionism on Tuesday. Hannity, too (while flipping stations).

The corruption of conservatism is well underway. These guys only ever paid lip service to the idea of small government. They’re just fine with Statism if the “right people” are in charge.

Cafe Hayek:
Trump’s Ignorance Is Matched Only by His Thuggishness
Remember when Obama screwed GM bondholders and fired the CEO? Donald Trump probably liked that. Conservatives didn’t.

Now, apparently, we’re supposed to cheer the big bully in the pulpit.

Response to solicitation of funds

Mr. Trump,

Please remove me from any and all lists associated with your campaign.

I will not contribute to your campaign, nor to any group associated with you: Including the political party formerly known as the GOP.

If you need money, please ask those “small donors” to whom you are already beholden. Sheldon Adelson, for example.

As you Tweeted last October:
“Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015″

Or, beg the hated RNC.

I’d also appreciate a review of contributions in kind from media like Fox News. Maybe you can release your estimate along with your tax returns.

I am disinterested in bankrolling your threatened anti-Chicago Cubs ads and your “Little Miss Stompy Foot” feud with the Club for Growth. I will have nothing to do with a “finance expert” who so misinterprets the word fungible that he will fund Planned Parenthood, in any way, with taxpayer dollars. As if this accounting gimmick can force separation of dollar one from dollar 500,000.

I’m not attracted to a candidate whose frugality argument is that he can spend my money better than the Democrats have, better than Republicans would, and CERTAINLY better than I could.

As to Crooked Hillary’s “rigged system of crony handouts,” you’ve bragged about having been a recipient of said handouts, and are deeply complicit in that very system.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter,
Duane Hershberger
#NeverTrump

P.S., You misspelled “Yuuge.”

On May 31, 2016, at 2:07 PM, Team TRUMP wrote:

Make American Great Again

Our country doesn’t win anymore, Duane.

We are losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year to China. Mexico is beating us at the border and on trade.

It feels like every day in the news another company is leaving our great nation. We are losing millions of jobs, and it is time for this to STOP.

This will all change when Donald Trump is elected President. We will start winning again.

We are going to start winning so much that you are going to get used to winning!

Donald Trump went the entire primary without asking a single person for a penny, because he was not beholden to anyone but YOU – the American people.

But here’s the problem: Crooked Hillary and her cronies are raising $2 billion to try to stop us.

That’s why we are asking you to contribute $35 and become a Founding Member of our campaign: https://secure.trump2016.com/founding-member/

Crooked Hillary is scared to death of us. Our movement threatens her rigged system of crony handouts and bad deals that have cost the American people millions!

She’s pulling in as many special interests and media elites as she can.

But Donald Trump doesn’t want ANY of them.

You’re the only person we would ever want on our team. Our campaign is a movement of the American people – NO ONE else.

Please contribute $35 right now to activate your Founding Membership with our campaign.

While our Party is ready to unite, Democrats are fighting tooth and nail over a socialist and a serial liar under investigation by the FBI.

We have a HUGE opportunity to win!

We don’t want to just defeat Crooked Hillary, we want to CRUSH the Democrats at every level.

We want to win in a massive landslide. We want our victory to be so great that Crooked Hillary and Obama regret the day they ever turned their backs on the American people.

Together, we will win this election and Make America Great Again!

Please join us today using this special link: [deleted]

Thank you and God bless you,

Team Trump

YOU are a Trump donor

Donald Trump makes a big deal out of using his own money to finance his campaign. He mentioned it again last night when he was booed for insulting the audience:

Trump said he was self-funding his campaign, so Republican donors weren’t a fan of his candidacy.

“The reason they’re not loving me is I don’t want their money. I’m going to do the right thing for the American public,” Trump said.

Self-funding? Ignoring the immense free coverage he’s had from the media, which you paid for with your time watching ads, a lot of the actual money he’s using to finance his campaign came from you. The Donald brags about “leveraging” (to use a polite term) politicians, “I’ve got to give to them, because when I want something, I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass.”

He has reason to brag:

None of this (Except maybe the tax avoidance at the Grand Hyatt*, the unreported lobbying** against the Mohawk Casino and the attempt to screw an elderly woman out of her house.) was illegal. All of it shows Trump is a corporatist whore, whose “business” benefits from transferring taxpayer dollars to his pocket.

Trump says this demonstrates corruption in politics. If so, it also demonstrates corrupt “business” practice. He doesn’t talk about cleaning up the problem, he just says he’s above it now. Because he already got your money.

Doing “[T]he right thing for the American public?” Donald Trump: A consummate utilitarian ethicist.

*When tax receipts from the Grand Hyatt plummeted to $667,000 from $3.7 million the year before, the city budget director asked Auditor General Burstein to review the hotel’s financial records. Burstein said the Grand Hyatt, through “aberrant” accounting practices, had understated its profits by $5 million and shorted the city by $2,870,259 in taxes.

“The people who didn’t get the foregone taxes were the police, the schools and public hospitals of this city,” she said, adding that “Trump leveraged tax forgiveness and clout into a deal where he had essentially no risk at all; there was no downside. Then, having triumphed, he repaid his benefactors by excoriating them as inept, venal and useless.”

Although Trump pressured her to kill the audit, Burstein said, she insisted on publishing it.

**In October 2000, Trump and his associates agreed to pay $250,000 to the state and issue an apology because he secretly paid for the ads attacking the Mohawks and didn’t inform the state lobbying commission.

Eight No Trump

A large and growing portion of American voters are eager to shake the foundations of the electoral process in order to dramatically alter how we are governed. They are fed up with establishment politics, government waste and endemic bureaucratic corruption. Five candidates clearly agree.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump believe further empowering government is the solution.

Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul believe government already has too much power, and want to aggressively shrink it.

At one time, this difference in preference for government intervention would have defined Progressivism vs. Conservativism. Not any more.

Donald Trump is allowed to reverse any of his positions when they become inconvenient:

  • Trump was for invading Libya when Clinton, Powers and Rice talked the beta-male in the White House into it. He’s against it in retrospect.
  • He supported single payer health care. Now he doesn’t.
  • He approved of partial birth abortion. Not any more.
  • He disliked the Tea Party and loved Barack Obama. He’s changed on both those ideas.
  • He’s flip-flopped on gay marriage and funding Planned Parenthood.
  • Sometimes he’ll move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Sometimes he won’t.
  • Sometimes he wants the Russians to fight ISIS for us, other times he’s not so sure that works.
  • In November he said we couldn’t afford to raise the minimum wage. By December he said American wages were too low.
  • In his book The America We Deserve, Trump wrote that he supported a ban on “assault weapons.” Not until last year did he apparently reverse his position.
  • He says he’s for free trade in the same sentence where he suggests a massive tariff on Chinese manufacture.
  • He says he’s going to force Mexico to pay to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants out of the U. S., and that he will quickly deport 11 million already here. In 2012 he said Mitt Romney’s mildly restrictive immigration proposals were “crazy”, and that the GOP lost the election because they didn’t “take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country.”
  • He brags about his financial independence and bribing politicians in the same breath. That’s just peachy on K-Street.

To be fair, Trump has been consistent on one thing – promoting big government corporatism. He loves abusing the laws covering eminent domain for his own benefit. He thinks TARP was a “great idea.” He supported Obama’s ‘stimulus’ program. He wants to expand ethanol subsidies. He told Sean Hannity, as recently as 2015, that a wealth tax is a “very conservative thing.”

None of those are remotely “conservative things,” but the point isn’t whether he’s a conservative. Of course he’s not. The point is that he’ll say anything to close the deal. And his supporters don’t care. They just want somebody’s ass kicked. They don’t see in the policy chaos of a Trump Administration that there’s a very good, and random, chance it’ll turn out to be their asses.

So called “Conservatives” have consistently betrayed them, so why worry about Trump’s principles? It didn’t matter that the vast majority of GOP Senators and Congressmen whom conservative voters gave majorities weren’t the principled conservatives they claimed to be, why should it matter if Trump isn’t?

Nonetheless, National Review feels compelled to tell us why Donald Trump is not a conservative. Since many people who support Trump still believe they are conservative, debating the definition of this word is not just futile, it is capitulation. The Trump supporters who don’t identify as conservatives are glad to hear he isn’t. The question isn’t conservatism.

The question both cohorts (should) care about is: Whose positions are consistent with the reform you want, rather than electoral expedients on the way to the next Imperial Presidency?

Fundamentally transform the GOP, or have the GOP modify its activities to fit the rules set forth in The Art of the Deal? Trump is big business, his policies demand even bigger government and he is a creature created by big media. Think that means reform?

I’m arguing here that a choice between Sanders/Clinton and Trump is no choice at all. In each case we get big government and big spending and paternalistic federal intervention characterized by crony capitalism and tribal zealotry.

There is a one party system sharing the spoils of corruption, but the implication that Trump will fix it is ludicrous. Establishment Republicans prefer him over Cruz because they know Trump can be co-opted.

Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Republicans Argue Over Who Is Greater Threat
Arguably, based on the fears of the GOP establishment, voters disaffected by politics as usual and looking for a shake up in the Republican party are better served by a Cruz presidency than a Trump presidency. See also.

GOPe preference for Trump over Cruz indicates, if forced, they’d rather have the party gently stirred than soundly shaken. Trump has no brief against the unholy dynamics among big government, big business, and big media, he lives there and revels in it.

The creative destruction of the Republican Party now seems possible through Cruz, Fiorina or Paul. This a necessary first step to restoring choice. If you want to temporarily remake GOP participation in DC corruption in the vision of The Art of the Deal – on the way to its total destruction – Trump’s your man.

They had good intentions

That is how Chief Justice John Roberts justified Obamacare:

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”
-Chief Justice John Roberts, author of the SCOTUS decision in King v. Burwell

There are good reasons to believe this decision will neither improve health care markets, nor avoid destroying them. The majority decided this case based on their perception of the intent of Congress, despite compelling evidence to the contrary.

  1. The intent of Democrats in Congress – the only people who voted for it – cannot be known in this regard since they did not read the Bill.
  2. Jonathan Gruber, the main government architect of the law, says the intent was to fool the American people. And, specifically, by forcing the States to participate or lose the subsidies.
  3. Obamacare has utterly failed to improve insurance markets. It has made insurance companies rich, at great cost to the people.
  4. An argument advanced by those who passed the Bill is that Obamacare is intended to further the destruction of the “market,” so as to institute a government run single-payer system akin to that of Canada.

Justice Roberts, and his 5 comrades, have severely damaged the rule of law.