Democrats Ignore Economy: That’s a Huge Opportunity for Donald Trump and Republicans

BY JAMES P. PINKERTON

Economic growth: What a great idea!  Now, if only we could get the Democrats to agree that growth is a good idea, and if only we could get the Republicans to be more persuasive in making the case for growth.

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The Democrats don’t want to talk about the almost-stalled economy; they would rather talk about “fairness” and  Whenever possible, today’s Democrats wish to shift the discussion completely away from bread-and-butter economics, to diversity, multiculturalism, #BlackLivesMatter, “climate change,” and so on.  And most of all, of course, Democrats want to talk about the purported evils of Donald Trump.

That’s very different from Democratic President John F. Kennedy — whose tax-cutting policy should be a model for the GOP.

The forthcoming book by Larry Kudlow, an economist in the Reagan White House and, more recently, a CNBC host, and Brian Domitrovic, a senior associate at the Laffer Center for Supply-Side Economics, is a strong first step for the GOP.

As Kudlow and Domitrovic remind us in JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity, Kennedy confronted relatively slow growth when he entered office in 1961 after campaigning on the stimulative slogan, “Get the country moving again.” Yet at first, the 35th President was at a loss as to proceed; his economic advisers were all over the place, policy-wise, and Congress had its own ideas.

Kennedy’s solution—arrived at only after two years of internal and external wrangling, as skillfully recounted by the authors—was to propose a massive across-the-board cut in income tax rates.

It might seem hard to believe that the top tax rate back in the early sixties was 91 percent (today it’s 39.6 percent); the authors rightly call that nine-tenths rate “nose-bleeding”—and, of course, it was counter-productive, because nobody could be expected to work or invest in the face of such a confiscatory rate.

The Kennedy tax cut was finally enacted in 1964, after JFK’s death; the top rate was reduced to 70 percent, and, of course, every other worker and investor also got a tax cut.  The result was an economic boom; as Kennedy himself had said in 1963, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Yet in the late 1970s, America was suffering through another patch of slow growth, a perverse combination of joblessness and inflation, dubbed “stagflation.”

Once again, it was across-the-board tax-rate reductions to the rescue.  With help from Kudlow, Arthur Laffer, and other “supply-siders”—that is, economists focusing on liberating the productive side of the economy from over-taxation and over-regulation—Ronald Reagan had the same idea as JFK: Cut tax rates, get the economy moving again.  As Kudlow and Domitrovic explain, “JFK’s true heirs returned to the White House in the Reagan era.”

So now we can fast-forward to today, when economic growth is once again a major public concern.  In the words of Heritage Foundation economist Steve Moore,

For years the polls have shown that Americans are hyper-concerned about the economy and job security. That was when the economy was growing at a meek 2 percent.  Now [growing at only] 1 percent, we aren’t just treading water, more families are being plunged underwater.

Then Moore added, acidly, “No wonder Hillary doesn’t want to talk about the economy.”

To be sure, a loyal Democrat would deny that Hillary Clinton’s Democrats aren’t interested in the economy.  So all we can do is look at the record:

William Galston, a top White House domestic-policy aide to Bill Clinton in the 90s, commented on the Democrats’ platform as it emerged in July:

The draft is truly remarkable—for example, its near-silence on economic growth. The uninformed reader would not learn that the pace of recovery from the Great Recession has been anemic by postwar standards, or that productivity gains have slowed to a crawl over the past five years, or that firms have been reluctant to invest in new productive capacity.  Rather, the platform draft’s core narrative is inequality, the injustice that inequality entails, and the need to rectify it through redistribution.

Meanwhile, a few days later, the urban geographer Joel Kotkin, also a Democrat, went even further, lamenting the victory of the greens over traditional lunch-bucket interests, including energy production.  Under the headline, “What happened to my party?” he sighed,

Increasingly, liberals, or progressives, are at best ambivalent about economic growth, particularly in such blue-collar fields as fossil fuel energy, manufacturing, agribusiness and suburban homebuilding.

Kotkin continued, emphasizing the leftward shift wrought by the “Sandersistas” and the harm it will do to blue collars:

In 2012, for example, Democrats touted the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas.  This year’s party platform endorses ever-stricter regulation of the industry, while Sen. Bernie Sanders’ faction demands a quickly decarbonized economy. Ironically, such steps will hurt precisely the blue-collar workers Sanders and his minions allegedly care most about. But the Vermont socialist’s base is not blue-collar production workers, but rather millennials, low-paid service workers and academics with few ties to tangible industries.  Suspicious of broad-based economic growth’s impact on the environment, they . . . favor redistribution of wealth over seriously growing the pie—in effect, contradicting nearly a half-century of mainstream Democratic thinking.

And the actual platform document, when released, conformed to expectations: “The most progressive Democratic platform ever,” crowed Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the left-wing Nation magazine.  So let’s let her cheerlead for all the tax increases:

On taxation, the platform pledges to “end deferrals” so that American corporations “can no longer escape paying their fair share of United States taxes by stashing profits abroad.” It supports clawing back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, eliminating tax breaks for big oil and gas companies, and cracking down on corporate inversions.  It calls for a “multimillionaire surtax,” for closing the egregious hedge-fund billionaire “carried interest” tax dodge, and for raising taxes on multimillion-dollar estates.

And since then, the left has moved even further to the left, toward outright green nihilism: Just a few days ago, NPR headlined a piece asking, “Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?”  The article quoted one supposed expert: “Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them.” Yes, that’s the green’s final solution: Stop all those carbon-dioxide producers before it’s too late—before they’re born.

So that’s today’s Democrats: They are anti-growth; they are green  zealots, seeking to sacrifice American prosperity on the altar of political correctness.

Okay, so now, what of the Republicans?

Interestingly, both Larry Kudlow and Steve Moore, quoted above, are  now top economic advisers to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.  And not surprisingly, they have been advocating for the same sort of supply side tax-rate cuts that Kennedy and Reagan advanced so successfully in their time.  Thus Trump’s August 8 speech to the Detroit Economic Club was both Kennedyesque and Reaganesque—and that’s a good thing.

Yes, that’s most definitely good news, because the economy desperately needs effective stimulus.  We might pause to observe: Yes, it’s true that American tax rates are a good deal lower than they were before JFK and RR worked their respective economic miracles, but in past decades, the whole world—most spectacularly, China—has lowered its tax rates and opened up to investment, and so we must stay competitive.

We can observe that this opening up has been good news for world freedom, and yet at the same time, it has been a mixed blessing to middle- and working-class Americans.  Nobody misses the nuclear-armed fears of the Cold War, but in the last few decades, the expansion of China, in particular, has coincided with the contraction of manufacturing and economic activity in the America heartland.

Under the stinging headline, “Bill Clinton’s True Legacy: Outsourcer-in-Chief,” author Jane White observed four years ago in The Huffington Post,

Manufacturers never emerged from the 2001 recession, which coincided with China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. Between 2001 and 2009 the U.S. lost 42,400 factories and manufacturing employment dropped to 11.7 million, a loss of 32 percent of all manufacturing jobs.

In the meantime, as economist Alan Tonelson reports, during the same period, Chinese manufacturing employment increased by nearly 28 million.

So there we have it: In the same decade of the ‘00s, the US lost five million manufacturing jobs, and China gained nearly six times as many.

Given that backdrop—the erosion of the middle class that has occurred under both Democrats and Republicans over the last quarter-century—the American people have a right to question anyone’s economic plan.

And so to win back public confidence, more must be done to convince folks that the benefits will actually flow to them, as opposed to some other country.  As I wrote earlier this month,

Yes, tax-rate reductions, on individuals and businesses, are a help to investment, but what if the money gets invested, not in the U.S., but in Mexico—or China?  Until that question can be answered in a satisfactory way, many, perhaps most, Americans will be skeptical of, even hostile to, upper-bracket tax cuts.

In that same piece, I argued for greater investment in infrastructure and public works as a way of targeting money into the US, and of creating assured jobs in hard-pressed areas.

Of course, another solution is to rethink international trade, as Trump proposes to do; something must be done to restore manufacturing to our sovereign shores.

Indeed, such a pro-Main Street rethink can come none too soon.  Ed Rollins, my old boss at the 1984 Reagan re-election campaign, now a strategist for the pro-Trump Great America Super PAC, noted with regret the increasing disconnect between the Republican Party and Middle America:

The Republican Party became the Chamber of Commerce party and lost its appeal.  It was no longer the party of small businesses—it was for Wall Street and big business.  These debates on trade are because of that shift more than because of Trump.

Some Republicans, especially on the Establishment side, might insist that this disconnect isn’t real, or isn’t really a problem: After all, Republicans did quite well in the 2010 and 2014 midterms.  And it’s true: The GOP is now in possession of the House, the Senate, and most governorships.  However, Republicans have not done well, at all, at the presidential level; they have lost four of the last six presidential elections, and five of the last six popular votes.

Moreover, a closer look at the midterm elections shows something troublesome for Establishment Republicanism: Turnout is declining.

In fact, turnout in 2014 was the lowest since the wartime year of 1942, when millions of men were away in the military.

To be sure, a win is a win, and the GOP can be happy that it has gained all those elected positions.

Yet at the same time, it’s evident that discontented citizens will eventually find a way to register their discontent in unpredictable ways.

And that’s what we’ve seen in 2016 with the rise of Trump—and also, as a somewhat related phenomenon, the rise of Sanders.  And although Trump’s rise is cheering to Trump and his supporters, it is most definitely a threat to orthodox Republicans.

Thus the GOP faces a challenge: Can it keep Establishment Republicans and Trump Republicans in the same coalition?  Can the Party retain even a modicum of unity?  In the short run, that’s no certainty, as we see every day—and in the long run, it’s perhaps even less of a certainty.

None of these points about Republican troubles invalidate the larger wisdom of the tax-rate reductions enacted by Kennedy and Reagan, as well as the new reductions now proposed by Trump.  Today, supply-side economics is as good an idea as it ever was; indeed, it’s urgently needed.

However, as we can see, we need more: We need attention to the demand-side as well.  That is, we need to think more about boosting the buying power of Americans, both as individuals and as a collective nation.  Tax-rate reductions are good, but so, too, are plans to directly boost buying power—that is, add strength to the demand side.

Perhaps I should explain: The surge in production—in China, the rest of Asia, and around the world—has created an over-supply of goods, relative to demand.  That is, even as productive capacity has been built up in what seems to be a bubble, buying power has dwindled.  So we might say: “Bubble, meet trough.”

We can also add: We are now seeing the deleterious impact of the now-familiar syndrome of stagnating workers’ wages; after decades of income flatlining, Middle America simply has less money to spend.

Yet we can step back and observe that demand-deficient world of oversupply today is different from the supply-constrained world of yesterday.  That is, in both the fifties and the seventies, the problem was on the supply-side, not the demand side.  And so the tax-rate-cutting supply-side reforms of the sixties and the eighties were fully justified and necessary.

However, today is different.  Yes, America is choked with taxation and regulation, but the world is increasingly deregulated—there isn’t much red tape in China that a bribe can’t unravel.

So this era is starting to resemble, in ominous ways, the world of the twenties.  That decade, culminating in the October 1929 stock market crash, was followed, of course, by the Depression.  And that’s obviously dreadful precedent.

Hence the need for pre-emptive public-sector investing—on infrastructure and technology, including an upgraded defense, which we need anyway—as well as private-sector tax-rate-cutting.

As we have seen, the Democrats have, by their own ideological choice, dealt themselves out of the economic-growth debate.  That is, in pursuit of their green multicultural utopia, they have chosen to downgrade the basic need for good jobs at good wages.

So now it’s up to the Republicans to step up and make the case for growth—and to do so with a persuasive and comprehensive agenda, fully marshaling the supply side, of course, and also the demand side.

HUFFINGTON POST BANS JOURNALIST FOR WRITING ABOUT HILLARY’S HEALTH, DELETES ARTICLE

“This is spooky, to me this is extremely spooky”

AUGUST 29, 2016

The Huffington Post has sensationally censored an article pertaining to questions about Hillary Clinton’s health and banned the journalist who wrote it from posting on their website altogether.

David Seaman penned a commentary piece discussing questions surrounding Hillary’s health problems on Sunday. The story included a link to my viral video about the subject, which now has over 3.5 million views.

The post, which had been trending at number 3 on the website, was deleted within hours and Seaman’s posting rights were completely revoked.

The link now just contains an editor’s note stating, “This post is no longer available on the Huffington Post.”

The Huff Post deleted the article despite the fact that pieces questioning John McCain’s health were heavily featured on the website in 2008.

Other leftist news outlets, most recently the Guardian, have also featured my video without the article immediately being deleted.

It appears as though the main reason for the article being deleted was the fact that Seaman didn’t automatically dismiss the entire issue as a “conspiracy theory” in line with the rest of the pro-Hillary media.

In a YouTube video posted in response to the deletion of the article, Seaman described the censorship as “chilling” and “Orwellian”.

“Both of my articles have been pulled without notice of any kind, just completely deleted from the Internet, and both of those articles mentioned Hillary’s health,” states Seaman.

“That video that Paul Watson put up has been viewed more than 3.5 million times, so it was a very newsworthy thing for me to link out to,” noted Seaman, adding that he should have been able to link to it without having his account revoked.

“I’ve filed hundreds of stories over the years as a journalist and I’ve never had anything like this happen….I’ve never experienced this,” remarked Seaman, adding that he was now seeking legal counsel.

“This is spooky, to me this is extremely spooky – I don’t like it,” he added, pointing to how the media has dispensed with any notion of balance to jump on Trump while giving Hillary a free pass.

“They’re deleting and censoring commentary on her health – why is that?” asked Seaman. “Do they not want more people to watch that video on YouTube, is that what’s going on here?”

In a related development, Donald Trump officially challenged Hillary Clinton to release her full medical records, but the Clinton campaign almost immediately refused to do so.

The video that Seaman linked to in his now deleted article is embedded below.

MSNBC HOSTS RAMP UP ‘TRUMP IS MENTALLY ILL’ SMEAR

“There’s not anybody at this table who doesn’t think he has some sort of problem.”

Steve Watson | Infowars.com – AUGUST 29, 2016

As the entire country is asking questions over Hillary Clinton’s physical health, MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough have ramped up a Democratic talking point, claiming that Donald Trump is mentally unfit to serve as President.

Monday morning, Brzezinski declared that “it’s time to hear from somebody in the mental health community, to look at this person who has been on television for months and give us a sense of what we have going on here.”

“And, I’m sorry, let’s just not, let’s stop pretending we’re dealing with someone who we can completely understand,” Brzezinski added.

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“And when you see someone who you think has problems, you know it. And there’s not anybody at this table who doesn’t think he has some sort of problem. Let’s ask the questions. Let’s do this at this point.” she continued, declaring that mental health questions should not remain “in the shadows.”

“Mental health is just like diabetes, or any other physical health. This is not something that I’m making a joke about. I’m very serious,” she said.

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“At this point I have been asked so many times that I think it’s worth asking someone in the mental health community … are these signs of something that perhaps could lead to a diagnosis?” Brzezinski concluded, adding “We’ve seen enough of him. It’s repetitive. It’s consistent.”
In previous segments, Brzezinski has declared that Trump is acting mentally unstable owing to a lack of sleep.

Over the past few weeks it is clear that Members of the Democratic-Media establishment along with GOP insiders have begun a campaign to portray Donald Trump as mentally unfit to be president, despite the fact that all signs indicate it’s Hillary Clinton who is mentally incapable of taking the hot seat.

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The campaign began with Barack Obama declaring Trump “unfit to serve” and since morphed into a petition launched by California Democrat Rep. Karen Bass demanding that Trump undergo a mental health evaluation.

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“Donald Trump is dangerous for our country. His impulsiveness and lack of control over his own emotions are of concern. It is our patriotic duty to raise the question of his mental stability to be the commander in chief and leader of the free world,” the petition states.

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“Mr. Trump appears to exhibit all the symptoms of the mental disorder Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Mental health professionals need to come forward and urge the Republican party to insist that their nominee has an evaluation to determine his mental fitness for the job.”

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Meanwhile, the controlled media has branded any questioning of Hillary’s health, despite manifestly obvious signs and symptoms that something is wrong with her, as ‘conspiratorial’ nonsense.

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Trump has hit out repeatedly at the ‘Morning Joe’ hosts over the past few weeks.
Last week, Trump tweeted that he would “tell the real story” of Scarborough and “his very insecure long-time girlfriend” Brzezinski. In another tweet, he called Brzezinski “a neurotic and not very bright mess!”

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TRUMP RECRUITING ARMY OF ‘OBSERVERS’ TO PREVENT ‘RIGGED’ ELECTION

“Help Me Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election!”

Steve Watson | Infowars.com – AUGUST 29, 2016

GOP nominee Donald Trump is actively recruiting supporters in order to form an army of ‘Election Observers’ to monitor polls on Election Day and ensure that voter fraud is prevented and exposed.

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A section has been added to Trump’s campaign website describing how supporters can get more information and sign up to be a “volunteer Trump Election Observer.”
“Help Me Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election!” the page reads.

“I hope you people can sort of not just vote on the 8th — go around and look and watch other polling places and make sure that it’s 100 percent fine,” Mr. Trump said at a rally in Pennsylvania earlier this month, adding that the only way he can lose to Hillary Clinton in stronghold states is if there is ‘cheating’.

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Trump has warned supporters several times that the election could be ‘rigged’, prompting the media and the Clinton campaign to label him a ‘pathetic, dangerous, reflexive conspiracy theorist’:

Trump echoed a warning issued by Infowars’ Alex Jones who detailed that only landslides are capable of defeating dirty tricks such as black box voter fraud. Trump warned supporters that the election could be rigged against him, just as it was against Bernie Sanders.

Trump has specifically pointed to the fact that in the past fortnight, five courts in five states have ruled against voter ID and proof-of-citizenship laws. Trump said he is worried that the decisions will lead to widespread voter fraud.

“The whole thing with voter ID, identification I mean, people are going to walk in — they’re going to vote 10 times, maybe — who knows?” Trump told Bill O’Reilly.

Watchdog group True the Vote shares Trump’s concerns.

Spokesman Logan Churchwell has warned “Trump is right to say, ‘Look, things are changing, lawsuits are being resolved’ — because they are.”

“And as a result of that, his underlying message is, ‘If you’re worried about this like I am, then I need your help working at the polls.’” Churchwell adds.

Democrats and some within the Clinton campaign have dismissed voter ID laws as anti-democratic.

Civil rights groups such as the ACLU are also against voter ID laws. Witold J. Walczak, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has attacked Trump on the issue, saying that “Questioning the integrity of an election is extremely dangerous.”

Trump’s warnings of the election being rigged continue as the FBI announced Monday that it has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, and that State systems need to be updated and made more secure.

Iran deploys S-300 missiles at Fordow nuclear facility – report

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Iran has deployed a Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system at its Fordow uranium enrichment facility, the country’s state media have reported, as cited by Reuters.
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“Our main priority is to protect Iran’s nuclear facilities under any circumstances,” Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) air defense force, told state TV.

Esmaili did not say whether the new missile defense system was operational, however the IRGC commander did say that, “Today, Iran’s sky is one of the most secure in the Middle East.”

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The Fordow site, which is around 100km south of the capital Tehran, has not enriched any uranium since a nuclear deal between Iran and six international powers came into effect in January.

The deal was signed in 2015 and was aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program. In return, Tehran saw the lifting of sanctions that had stifled economic growth.

The contract to deliver S-300s to Iran was put on hold in 2010 by then-President Dmitry Medvedev due to UN sanctions imposed on Iran.

Moscow said at the time that the delivery of the missile defense system would upset the balance of power in the region and escalate tensions.

The contract was revived in April of 2015 by President Vladimir Putin after Iran and six leading world powers signed a nuclear deal, which addressed concerns about Tehran achieving a potential breakthrough that would allow it to produce nuclear weapons.

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In May, Iran announced that it had deployed the S-300 defense systems at its Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base.

The Fordow site is built 90 meters below a mountain, with its location being revealed by the West in 2009.

The deployment comes just over a week after Tehran unveiled its Bavar-373 air defense complex at a military expo. The system was developed as an alternative to the S-300 and is set to go into production later this year.

“We did not intend to make an Iranian version of the S-300 – we wanted to build an Iranian system, and we built it,” Iran’s Minister of Defense Hossein Dehghan said. The weapon was successfully test-fired for the first time in August 2014.