Friday, January 27, 2017
The stockmarket thinks Trump is on the right path
The Dow Jones smashed the landmark 20,000 barrier for the first time ever this afternoon as optimism about Trump’s pro-growth policies boosted financial markets.
Resuming a rally that began in the wake of Donald Trump’s shock US presidential election win, the index rose by as much as 0.73pc to 20,057.89.
The rally was reignited by Trump’s signing of numerous executive orders since his inauguration on Friday. Last night, he also tweeted about his intention to build a wall on the Mexican border.
It has taken the index just two short months, or 42 sessions, to climb from the first close above 19,000 to 20,000. It’s worth noting the rise between 18,000 and 19,000 took some 483 trading sessions.
Why Leftists are violent and more criminal
It follows from their personalities and beliefs. It's basic to who they are
Trump threatens the identity of Leftists
First there was the woman at Hillary Clinton's election night "victory party" who curled up in the fetal position and began crying after learning there was to be no victory. But that's just one person, I thought.
Then, on the eve of his inauguration, New York Times columnist Charles Blow not only declared Donald Trump's presidency illegitimate, he addressed the president elect in this way: "You will wear that scarlet `I' on your tan chest for as long as you sit in the White House." Hmm, I guess that's just like Hester Prynne's scarlet "A." Okay, I thought, that's just one hyperbolic columnist and in one increasingly partisan newspaper - even if it is supposed to be "the paper of record."
But then there was a full-page advertisement in the Times (imagine how much that must have cost), in which activists, celebrities and intellectuals, including Bill Ayers, Deborah Messing, Alice Walker, Cornell West and "thousands more," signed on to this message: NO! IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY, WE REFUSE TO ACCEPT A FACIST AMERICA! The ad blared these words in 36-point type. It followed with: STOP THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME BEFORE IT STARTS.
Normally, as you go through the stages of grief, you are supposed to "get over it." But in this case grief seems to be feeding on grief, and it's spiraling out of hand. At last count, one-third of the Democrats in the House of Representatives boycotted President Trump's inauguration. Paul Krugman, writing in the Times, called the boycott "an act of patriotism."
The anti-Trump mentality has been showing up in the strangest places. The names of First Family members have long been a staple of crossword puzzles. The New York Times puzzles, for example, have routinely used clues for which Obama, Sasha and Malia were the answers. (Constructors love answers with lots of vowels.) But the other day, crossword blogger Rex Parker railed at length over the Times' use of Trump children's names in this manner. The practice "normalizes" the new president, he wrote.
So, what's going on? Is some sort of malady infecting the mental faculties of famous people and the media elite? Or, is the disease more widespread?
The latter it turns out. Facebook reports that liberals are six or seven times more likely to "de-friend" conservatives than the other way around. A doctor writing at Slate says that he and some of his colleagues are seeing quite a few cases of "Trump anxiety," including patients with suicidal thoughts. Now, if you are in the country illegally, I could understand some increased anxiety. But the affected patients included gays, blacks, Jews, women and others who are full-fledged citizens.
Now, for the record, throughout his presidential campaign Donald Trump made not one statement that could be construed as anti-black, anti-gay or anti-Semitic. How do I know that? Because if he did, the statements would have appeared on the front page of The New York Times and in just about every other newspaper in the country. Not only did he not display any of those prejudices, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach opened to everybody - in the first major challenge to what has probably been the most discriminatory resort city in the whole country.
He did make out-of-bounds statements about women and may have engaged in behavior that was caddish, even brutish, in the past. But remember who he was running against. According to the late Christopher Hitchens (whose honesty no one questioned), there are a number of women who have made credible claims (only one that is public) that Bill Clinton raped them. There is nothing Donald Trump is accused of doing or saying that even begins to match that. Nor, in my opinion, does Trump's behavior even begin to match Hillary Clinton's role as supervisor of "bimbo control."
So how can we explain a women's march to protest the Trump inauguration? Or blacks who tell other blacks they are a "disgrace to their race" if they participate in the inauguration?
One thing seems likely. It has nothing to do with Donald Trump.
Dartmouth professor Sean Westwood and Stanford University professor Shanto Iyengar have been researching these issues and they have concluded that in the modern world, political is personal. People's identities are connected to their political affiliations. Writing in The New York Times, Amanda Taub explains: "Today, political parties are no longer just the people who are supposed to govern the way you want. They are a team to support, and a tribe to feel a part of. And the public's view of politics is becoming more and more zero-sum: It's about helping their team win, and making sure the other team loses."
If you think about the recent election, only one candidate ran on issues. And you probably won't have to think very hard to remember what some of Trump's issues were: trade, taxes, immigration, the way we treat veterans.
Can you say with any certainty what Hillary Clinton's position is on international trade? How about what she would do with the corporate income tax? How would she reform immigration policy? What would she do differently with the VA?
I bet you don't know. And even if you think you know, I bet that almost no one else you know knows - not even your spouse.
There is a reason for that. Hillary Clinton in particular and the Democratic Party in general did not run in this last election on issues. They ran on identity politics. And when they lost, people who bought into their message felt their identity threatened.
Trump Wants to Slash Regulations by 75%. Here’s How Regulatory Reform Could Boost US
During a White House meeting with business leaders on Monday, President Donald Trump pledged to slash regulations by at least 75 percent.
Activists were positively apoplectic, of course, and media ridicule was swift. But exaggerated as the comment was, the larger point is incontrovertible: The unparalleled expansion of the administrative state is crushing America’s entrepreneurial spirit, productivity, and economic growth.
Monday was not the first time Trump stressed the need to reduce “out of control” regulation. As a candidate, he repeatedly vowed to cut regulation “massively” and “remove the anchor dragging us down.”
And he’s right about that anchor; the need for regulatory reform has never been greater. There is virtually no aspect of our lives over which laws and ordinances do not reign. Congress and federal bureaucrats routinely ignore regulatory costs, exaggerate benefits, and breach legislative and constitutional boundaries.
Independent estimates peg the cost of regulation at more than $2 trillion annually—more than is collected in income taxes each year. In the past eight years alone, the Obama administration issued more than 22,700 rules, which increased annual regulatory costs by more than $120 billion. (And that’s a lowball estimate.)
Combined with the regulatory burdens imposed during the administration of George W. Bush, the annual cost of red tape has increased by at least $200 billion in the past 15 years.
But the problem is not just the number and cost of regulation. It is also the approach.
Conventional wisdom has long held that government controls of industry are the best and only way to protect the public. We now know better. Forty years of command-and-control regimes have led to massive, ineffective, and unaccountable bureaucracies.
Based on fiscal year 2017 budget figures, administering red tape will cost taxpayers nearly $70 billion, an increase of 97 percent since 2000. A big part of the increase is the wages paid to regulators—who now number an all-time high of 279,000.
The bigger the federal government has grown, the more essential political influence has become, leading to corruption in the regulatory realm. All of this has weakened property rights, inhibited innovation, and increased the prices of food, fuel, fiber, and minerals.
States and the private sector can and should play a far greater role. It isn’t necessary—or wise—to allow Washington to control everything. States are better equipped to customize policies for local conditions, and land owners have greater incentives than the government to protect private property. Both groups can act regionally when there are cross-border components to regulatory issues.
A less centralized regime would also mean more direct accountability—taxpayers would have an easier time identifying the officials responsible for environmental policies, and the people making those regulatory decisions would have to live with the consequences. Property owners would be held accountable through common law.
Trump will need all of the means available to him to countermand the injurious policies inflicted on the nation by the Obama administration (with help from Congress) during the past eight years.
For purposes of steering regulatory policy, the president’s authority to appoint the heads of executive branch agencies (under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution) is among the most effective. The president also wields budgetary influence over regulatory agencies, and proposed funding should emphasize regulatory reform over the status quo.
Executive orders represent a direct means by which the president establishes his or her policies (although the president cannot override statutory directives to agencies unless the law expressly grants that power). We hope Trump will waste no time rescinding the numerous orders issued by Obama to sidestep Congress, on labor, immigration, and environmental issues, in particular.
The Trump administration also would do well to review all pending litigation and designate cases for settlement, including challenges to former President Barack Obama’s untenable Clean Power Plan; his radical transgender bathroom directive; and the Environmental Protection Agency’s egregious waters of the U.S. rule, which affects property rights
The ultimate White House influence on rule-making may well be the regulatory review process administered by the Office of Management and Budget.
Specifically, the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is responsible for reviewing proposed and final regulations; managing agency requests for information collection; and overseeing data quality government-wide. That is real power in an era of regulatory overload.
The Trump administration should replace the existing regime by imposing stricter standards for review, expanding the scope of review, and increasing transparency of the review process.
The end of the Obama administration—perhaps the most regulatory administration in history—greatly improves the outlook for regulatory reform. It matters little whether Trump errs in his rhetoric as long as his actions reshape regulation for the 21st century
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Posted by JR at 1:27 AM