The Trump Presidency at One Year

Despite Russia-collusion paranoia, tumult, drama, decorum lapses and inveterate tweeting, Trump racked up many impressive achievements. You may be surprised.
The Trump Presidency at One Year
By: George Noga – January 21, 2018
      Even I was surprised when I compiled the list of Trump’s achievements for this posting. It is easy to get so caught up in all the media sturm und drang that one fails to notice. For a counterpoint, reread my posting of January 20, 2017 about the Obama presidency, available on our website: www.mllg.us. Following is a list (in no particular order) of the main accomplishments of Trump’s first year; sic loquitur pro se.
 
1. ISIS has been defeated; the Caliphate has no remaining territory it controls.
2. Energy policy is transformed. The Keystone and Dakota pipelines are proceeding; ANWAR is open to drilling as are parts of the Gulf of Mexico and more federal lands.
3. Net neutrality has been reversed; the internet is once again free of regulation.
4. MS-13 gang members have been deported; 5,000 (about half) have been arrested.
5. The Veterans Administration has been improved via numerous measures initiated by the Trump Administration including its budget being increased to $186 billion.
6. NATO defense budgets were increased to 2% of GDP due to Trump jawboning.
7. Job creation is at a 20-year high, including jobs for blacks and Hispanics.
8. Obamacare’s individual mandate is ended. Men with guns no longer will come to force you to pay a $1,000 penalty for failing to buy a product you don’t want.
9. Stock markets/confidence are at all-time highs due to Trump’s pro growth agenda.
10. Tax reduction/reform is arguably the biggest achievement. This historic legislation will lead to sustained economic growth, job creation, investment and productivity.
11. The Syrian missile strike redeemed Obama’s ignored red line about poison gas and sent a message to our adversaries – current and potential – that Trump is not Obama.
12. Judicial appointments have been both numerous and inspired. In addition to Gorsuch, Trump has made 11 circuit court appointments and nominated 73 judges.
13. Decertification of Iran’s compliance with the Agreed Framework was bold.
14. The North Korea nuclear threat is being dealt with seriously and directly; Trump is not kicking the can down the road as his predecessors have done for decades.
15. The EPA is once again under control; it is reviewing the clean power plan rule and has killed the renegade (WOTUS) Waters of the United States regulation.
16. Cuba policy has been reversed; another one-sided Obama deal bites the dust.
17. Ukraine will be sold lethal defensive (anti-tank) weapons – another reversal of a weak kneed Obama diktat and a significant counter to Russian aggression.
18. Withdrawal from the Paris climate accord was a coup de maitre. Trump made a tough call despite fierce opposition by Tillerson, Kushner and even Ivanka.
19. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem redeemed a pledge and was another bold stroke in the face of opposition by virtually the entire world. Bravo!
20. Economic growth over 3% has been achieved despite Obama remarking that the US would never again see such a rate of growth. The outlook for 2018 is 3% to 4%.
21. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is back under control via Trump’s interim appointment of Mike Mulvaney. It no longer can operate outside the law.
22. Obama, Clinton, DOJ and FBI illegality and impropriety are being uncovered. If Hillary had been elected, these would have remained buried – likely forever.
23. Hostages/prisoners have been freed in numerous countries by Trump intervention and all without plane loads of cash or dangerous terrorists being released.
24. Political correctness no longer reigns in America. Merry Christmas reverberated throughout the land once again and it is okay to say other formerly verboten words.
25. Illegal immigration is greatly reduced. Many are staying away voluntarily due to the increased enforcement. Chain migration and lottery visas are being ended.
26. Defense spending is being ramped up – after languishing under Obama.
27. States rights are being respected as in the roll backs of federal land grabs in Utah.
28. School choice and education policy under DeVos has reversed the horrors imposed by Obama such as his draconian and unconstitutional Title IX rules.
29. The travel ban and extreme vetting have made America safer while also exposing the fecklessness of Obama-appointed federal judges making clearly political rulings.
30. Donald Trump is not Hillary Clinton!

Whew! There you have it – not too shabby for only one year. Progressives and their media puppeteers are too busy with their fake news, collusion theories and Trump vitriol and paranoia to realize that meanwhile Trump is cleaning their clock.

Our next post January 28th explains why I write this blog – don’t miss it.

Jack the Ripper and the Copycat Effect

The media bear much responsibility for the mass casualty attacks they blame on guns. The copycat effect is so widely recognized some countries ban reporting of suicides.
Jack the Ripper and the Copycat Effect
By: George Noga – January 14, 2018

       In our post of December 10, 2017, we promised to focus on the role of the media in spawning mass casualty attacks (“MCA”). There are many effective actions we can take to reduce MCAs; our December 10th post (available at www.mllg.us) addressed untreated mental illness as the single greatest cause. The second leading cause is the copycat effect, known at least since the 1774 publication of a Goethe novel.

       Nearly 250 years ago, Johann von Goethe wrote his classic “The Sorrows of Young Werther” wherein the hero commits suicide with a pistol. Following its publication, there was a spate of identical suicides throughout Europe at a time of low population when few could read, books were dear and news moved glacially. Now, there are seven billion mostly literate and interconnected people; the media are global and pervasive; and news travels at the speed of light. And when there is a copycat MCA, the media reflexively blame it on guns; this is as crazy as blaming pistols for Werther’s suicide 

        Even today, a spike in emulation suicides following a widely publicized suicide is known as the Werther Effect. Following Marilyn Monroe’s 1962 suicide from a drug overdose, there were at least 200 copycat suicides within 30 days. The copycat effect is so widely recognized that some countries (Norway) ban all reporting of suicides.

Jack the Ripper is to MCAs what Young Werther is to suicides. Jack the Ripper inspired many copycat attacks in his time and they continue (mostly in England) up to this day. Sociologists as early as 1890 understood that highly publicized crimes could be self-spreading and coined the term suggesto-imitative assaults.

      Much has been learned since Jack the Ripper; the following is accepted science: (1) The amount of attention paid to MCAs is directly related to their occurrence; (2) MCAs occur in clusters, not randomly; (3) A MCA is much more likely in the aftermath of a recent MCA; and (4) There is no contagion with 3 or fewer causalities.

      Recent studies also identify ways to reduce MCAs: (1) Do not glorify shooters or sensationalize their actions; (2) Use shooters’ names only when absolutely necessary; (3) Avoid use of superlatives such as “record number killed”. Also, the media should vastly limit (voluntarily) coverage except in the area the MCA occurred. No pictures or images of the perpetrator should be shown, especially in an iconic Che Guevara pose, like the photo of Dzhokar Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone.

    Progressives and the media (one and the same) blame guns for every MCA; however, they themselves are culpable. If we did not ignore untreated mental illness and took steps to reduce the copycat effect, MCAs would plummet. When subtracting gun deaths due to suicides and the failed war on drugs with its appurtenant gang violence, the US gun homicide rate would be among the lowest in the world.

       We have understood the copycat effect for both suicides and MCAs since at least the times of Young Werther and Jack the Ripper respectively. It’s beyond time we held the media to account for their significant share of the butcher’s bill.


The next post on January 21 analyzes the first year of the Trump presidency.

Taxation in America – Part V

The new tax law makes America competitive and will bring about a veritable cornucopia of new investment, job creation, productivity and economic growth.
Taxation in America – Part V
New Tax Law Analyzed and Dissected
By: George Noga – December 22, 2017
       I promised a final blog in our Taxation in America series immediately following final passage of tax legislation; otherwise, I would not post this close to Christmas. This is the final part; the prior four parts can be accessed on our website: www.mllg.us. We are taking a brief holiday respite; thus, our next post will not be until January 14.
     My “take” on the new tax law is similar to that of many other commentators; nonetheless, I hope to add some fresh insight and perspective. For corporations and businesses, the new law is utterly transformational. Lowering the corporate rate to 21%, expensing 100% (for 5 years), changing to a territorial tax system and the deemed repatriation tax all are highly salutatory. These changes make America competitive with most other nations and will result in a veritable cornucopia of new investment, job creation, productivity and economic growth for years to come.
      For individuals, there is little to cheer. There are modest tax cuts for most taxpayers and the $24,000 standard deduction, combined with the new deduction limits, will provide simplification to many. Repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate is a big winner. For individual taxpayers, Congress missed a once-in-a-generation opportunity to substantially lower taxes and to reform and to simplify the tax code.
    Regrettably, the law also contains many lese-majeste provisos: (1) seven tax brackets; (2) absurdly high (106%) marginal brackets due to recapture; (3) gaming potential and complexity on the business pass-through tax; (4) high capital gains rates; (5) sunset provisions after 8 years; (6) failure to repeal the death tax; (7) the enhanced and now partially refundable child care credit which is pure social policy; and (8) the tax treatment of carried interest remained unscathed. The changes to the individual parts of the tax code will produce little or no economic growth.

Tax Law Exposes a Deeply Flawed Political Process

     A parallel story about the 2017 tax legislation is the structural flaws it exposed in our political process. The Byrd Rule (no deficits beyond 10 years) hamstrings and contorts the ability of Congress to act. CBO scoring is pure voodoo; they are consistently wrong and highly political, yet they establish the parameters the law must follow. The PAYGO rule, requirement to offset higher spending, is also unleavened sorcery that thwarts the will of the people. Reconciliation is yet another political dysfunction that determines what can and cannot be considered a tax matter.
     The political process also is pregnant with demagoguery. No matter what the law contains, progressives were going to assert it favors fat-cat corporations and the rich and savages the poor. Recall that: (1) the top one-half of one percent of Americans pay 70% of all income tax; (2) America has the most progressive (by far) tax regimen in the world; and (3) the bottom 60% of Americans pay less than 1% (net of credits).

The Bottom Line

      As always, the proof is in the pudding. The 2017 revolutionary transfiguration of corporate and business taxes and the repatriation of trillions of dollars has the potential to bring about a Reaganesque revival. The best hope for America’s future lies in sustained, robust economic growth; it is not only the most important thing, it is the only thing that matters. Without strong growth, we cannot properly defend ourselves; we face an imminent debt and deficit crisis and the social fabric of our beloved republic will be further rent. All Americans should hope the pudding tastes good!
Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Our next post is scheduled for January 14, 2018

2018 Preview – Gun Laws – Trump’s Decorum

After every mass casualty attack, the same suspects trot out the same fusty canards. New gun laws would be palliative, therapeutic, ineffective and would save no lives. 
2018 Preview – Gun Laws – Trump’s Decorum
By: George Noga – December 10, 2017
       As 2017 fizzles out, we evaluate the past year and plan improvements for the next. Total readership is robust but hard to pin down because most of the growth comes from other blogs that pick up our posts and from an incredibly large number of forwards – in some cases, four generations of forwards. We had 50,000 visits to our website in 2017. Our commercial email service reports we have one of their highest open rates. We have a strong presence on social media. Our Red October series achieved primo placement on Google’s search engine – competitive with that of The Wall Street Journal.
       We are taking a short holiday break from publishing; hence, this is our penultimate post for 2017. The final post likely will be in late December when the final outcome of  tax legislation is known. That will be the last part of our series: Taxation in America. Our weekly blog will resume in mid-January. Thanks again to all of you for your loyal readership, forwarding and financial support during this past year.
      Changes are afoot. Most of our posts have followed a pattern: we identify issues, marshal facts, draw logical inferences and present perspectives not often found elsewhere, always fact based and principled. We will continue doing some of that but plan to take more of a cosmic approach. In addition to issues, we will write about the juxtaposition of man and state – sometimes from a highly personal perspective. We will reprise our popular Montana Moments segments during the summer and will continue shamelessly flogging what has become our signature issue – climate change.

Mass Casualty Attacks and Gun Laws

      The US has suffered many mass casualty attacks and after each one, gun control advocates engage in the same kabuki. They espouse antediluvian bromides that would be palliative, ineffective and would not save lives. Proposing futile laws apparently is therapeutic for liberals. Not one law they ever proposed would have prevented any mass casualty attack. They mask their real goal of banning and confiscating all guns.
       The mass casualty problem is – first and foremost – one of untreated mental illness. WND News has compiled a list of 24 mass shooters with untreated mental illness during the past 20 years, which accounts for a large percentage of such events. In recent shootings in Sutherland Springs,TX and Charleston, SC, the killers were able to obtain weapons because of government failure to post data to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Progressives’ solution is to place more trust in government – the very same government that failed abysmally in TX and SC.
     The dirty truth is that progressive beliefs are responsible for the large number of people with untreated mental illness roaming the streets. Liberal dogma forbids forcing treatment or institutionalization. The number of hospital beds for psychiatric patients in the US is down over 95% in the past 50 years – thanks totally to progressive ideology.
Note: There are 2 main causes of mass casualty attacks. This post addressed untreated mental illness. A future post will focus on the second leading cause – copycat attacks.

The Dignity and Decorum of Donald Trump

      My liberal friends like to complain about the lack of dignity and decorum of The Donald. They often ask if I too am turned off by it; here’s my answer to them.
       In the 1970s you called Richard Nixon “tricky dicky” and mocked him incessantly. During the 1980s you labelled Ronald Reagan, arguably the best president of our time, an “amiable dunce“. During the 2000s you referred to George W. Bush, a man of quiet dignity, as stupid and evil. You called him a chicken hawk, liar and an international embarrassment. You savaged John McCain, a man who sought collegiality. You turned Mitt Romney, a genuinely nice human being, into an unrecognizable monster.
    Now you come and attack Trump as evil incarnate. We have repeatedly tried collegiality, dignity and decorum; where has that gotten us? We are locked in a bitter, divisive culture war and, unlike the others, Trump is fighting back. Yes, sometimes he can be short on decorum but I am not shedding crocodile tears over it. Trump is our president during the midst of the culture war and he is a fighter. Get used to it!

Our next post will follow final disposition of tax legislation.

The Four Presents of Christmas

The story of four Christmas presents is an economics primer. It also applies to government health care and indeed to government spending in general. 
The Four Presents of Christmas
By: George Noga – December 3, 2017
     The process of shopping for Christmas presents contains valuable lessons about economics and government. The four presents fall into three economic categories.
        Present #1  The most felicitous gift is the one you buy for yourself with your own money. Clearly, you know better than anyone precisely what you want as well as how much you will spend. Your priorities are both price and quality; you want the highest possible quality for the lowest possible price. There are numerous trade offs between product features, quality and cost and many places to shop. You are uniquely qualified to evaluate all the permutations and to make the correct choice. Gifts like this are never returned. This is a first party purchase; the person paying is the person using.
       Present #2  Your Great Uncle Warbucks sends you a generous check with the proviso you buy a gift for yourself. Although you remain the best judge about what to buy for yourself, you now are tempted to purchase something you would not have bought with your own money. You still want high quality because you are consuming the product, but now you are not quite as concerned about the price. When someone is buying your dinner, you order the lobster rather than the brisket. When using OPM (other people’s money) the temptation is great to splurge. This is a one example of a second party purchase; the person using is not the person paying.
       Present #3  This is the arch-typical Christmas present – you buy a gift for someone else with your own money. However, you often are reduced to guesses about the needs and wants of others – even those close to you. Because you are spending your own money, you care about cost but are less concerned with quality as you are not using the product. You are not very interested in investing much time comparison shopping. Frequently, you buy something that the recipient would not have bought for him/her self and your gift is very likely to be returned. This is a slightly different example of a second party purchase; the person paying is not the person using.
       Present #4  Now we have the situation where you buy a present for someone else with money supplied by a third party. Say your boss asks you to buy a present for a customer. You buy the present with money that is not your own; therefore, you do not care about the cost. You are not going to consume the present; therefore, you don’t care about the quality – or even the appropriateness of the gift. In any event, you have absolutely no idea about what the person may want or like. Therefore, you don’t waste any time shopping and promptly buy a ten-foot rubber elephant at the store next door. This is by far the worst of all scenarios; it is called a third party purchase.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
        All government spending consists of third party purchases. The government takes money from you and distributes it to others based on what government considers best. They are not concerned with either cost or quality. It is even worse; they have priorities of their own that often are directly opposed to the needs or wants of the recipients. Government employees respond to their own personal incentives and disincentives.
     The lessons of the four gifts of Christmas apply with a vengeance to health care. The cost of government funded health care continues to skyrocket while at the same time, the service and quality deteriorate. Compare this to private health care as is the norm in dentistry, ophthalmology and cosmetic surgery. The inflation adjusted cost of all of these is either stable or decreasing while quality and service are good. The difference is easy to explain. Government health care consists entirely of third party transactions while dentistry, plastic surgery and eye surgery are first party transactions.

Our next post previews MLLG’s plans for 2018

The Politics of Harvey, Irma and Maria

“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! blow! You cataracts and hurricanes, spout till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks!”  (King Lear)
The Politics of Harvey, Irma and Maria
By: George Noga – November 26, 2017
      The lines above are from King Lear’s famous diatribe against the storm. The once mighty Lear, now powerless, urges nature to bring on another apocalypse. The storm symbolizes Lear’s state of mind. Shakespeare’s words could easily have been spoken by politicians following Harvey, Irma and Maria, ranting about climate change, price gouging and, in Puerto Rico, blaming others for their lack of preparedness.
     Harvey was the first major (cat 3) hurricane to make US landfall since Wilma in 2005, the longest hurricane-free period ever. Irma was the only major hurricane to hit Florida in 12 years, toppling a 165-year record. What happened next was as predictable as it was pathetic. There were climate change diatribes worthy of King Lear about how 12 hurricane-free years somehow proves hurricanes are more (not less) frequent.
       Meanwhile, a 2017 peer-reviewed study (D’Aleo, Wallace, Idso) found man-made adjustments to temperature readings account for all reported warming in the past 75 years. The study’s authors said when numerous adjustments are made, it is reasonable to expect some to have the effect of increasing warming and some of decreasing warming. Instead, nearly all adjustments increased warming; i.e. the data underpinning global warming are based entirely on human adjustments – not on actual data!
       EPA Administrator Pruitt and Energy Secretary Perry have suggested red-blue team exercises (used by military and intelligence services) to expose vulnerabilities in climate science. Climate alarmists went ballistic, arguing it would be a dangerous attempt to elevate minority opinions and to undercut the legitimacy, objectivity and transparency of existing climate science. Why would legitimate scientists be afraid to debate any issue? They should welcome debate. Newton is spinning in his grave.
       Politicians also mimicked King Lear in castigating price gouging. Florida Senator Nelson and AG Bondi were the best Lear impersonators. Bondi vowed to prosecute and to shame gougers and established a hotline for reporting violations. They are economically illiterate; economists universally agree price gouging is beneficial.
       Americans understand prices for the same product fluctuate in different conditions. Hotel rooms in a college town cost more during a big game. Americans openly flaunt anti-scalping laws. A poor ghetto kid risking scarce capital to broker tickets should be honored, not incarcerated. We readily accept Uber’s surge pricing and viscerally grasp it is beneficial. Government engages in price gouging at, inter alia, airports, toll roads, turnpike rest stops and sporting venues – Nelson and Bondi take note.
      Prices in free markets convey accurate, truthful and useful information about the value of a good or service; government prices are lies; consider the following:
  •    Market prices are determined by voluntary cooperation among people. Government prices are coercive and based on the naked police power of the state. Markets enforce themselves; government prices must be enforced by men with guns.
  •   Market prices alleviate shortages by directing resources to where they are most needed; government prices (rent control) lead to rationing and create shortages.
  •   Market prices are logical, non-political, foster civility and encourage honest behavior. Government prices are illogical, political and strain the social fabric by criminalizing laudable and honest behavior. Government prices create black markets, incentives for illegal behavior and breed disrespect for the law as in Venezuela.
  •   Market prices result in more supplies being available during a crisis, storing extra goods beforehand and conservation. Government prices create shortages, rationing and empty shelves. Market prices are better for victims of natural disasters.
       Why should a hurricane somehow be different than a football game when it comes to the price of a hotel room? Market prices are truthful; government prices are lies. In what kind of society would you prefer to live – one based on voluntary cooperation of people in markets or one based on government lies enforced by men with guns?

Our next post describes the four gifts of Christmas

Our First Thanksgiving as Americans

Everyone is familiar with the Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. This post reveals the rest of the story and our first Thanksgiving as Americans. 
Our First Thanksgiving as Americans
George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
By: George Noga – November 19, 2017
        Americans all know the feel-good (but deeply flawed) narrative of the Pilgrim’s thanksgiving in 1621 – the first in the new world. During colonial times, and even throughout the Revolutionary War, the practice continued as the colonies set aside different days for thanksgiving, prayer and fasting – not feasting.
        The first nationwide day of thanksgiving was in response to the American victory at Saratoga in October 1777. The Continental Congress suggested a day be set aside to honor the victory. George Washington, as commander-in-chief of the army, agreed and proclaimed December 18, 1777 as the first national day of thanksgiving. The Continental Congress issued thanksgiving proclamations in each year through 1784. Note: The 1777 proclamation is easily available online and well worth reading.
      Following ratification of the Constitution, the first Congress beseeched President Washington to issue a proclamation of thanksgiving; Washington concurred and issued the proclamation on October 3, 1789 designating Thursday, November 26 as the day; his proclamation is reprinted below. This is the first thanksgiving in what now became the United States of America. However, Washington did not establish a permanent holiday. Presidents Adams and Madison also declared days of thanks but there were no thanksgivings between 1815 and 1863 when President Lincoln initiated an annual observance of thanksgiving in the USA on the fourth Thursday in November.

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation (edited for length)

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas Congress requested a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to acknowledge the many and signal favors of Almighty God by affording the people an opportunity peaceably to establish a government for their safety and happiness. 
 
Now therefore, I do assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
 
And also that we may unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our duties properly; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discretely and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations, and to bless them with good governments, peace and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue; and generally, to grant to all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.”  (October 3, 1789)

Next up is a retrospective of the past hurricane season

Antifa, Neo-Nazis and the KKK

Leftists believe communism was a noble experiment; hence, atrocities by the left were tolerable, even praiseworthy. After all, you must break some eggs to make an omelet.
Antifa, Neo-Nazis and the KKK
By: George Noga – November 12, 2017
       There is much confusion and contradiction about fascism. Antifa (short for anti-fascism) and the hard left assert fascism is vile, despicable and the embodiment of evil in the world. They advocate euphonic ideas like social justice, democratic socialism and economic democracy. They have zero tolerance for anyone who disagrees. Yet, the things Antifa wants you to believe in are all fascist ideas. Hitler and Mussolini were national socialists. In fact, Nazi is short for the National Socialist Party.
      Fascists in Germany, Austria and Italy were all leftist parties. The Austrian Nazis declared, “We are a nationalistic party that fights against reactionary tendencies as well as feudal, clerical, capitalistic and alien influences.” The German Nazi platform stated, “We fight against all reactionary trends, ecclesiastical, aristocratic and capitalist privileges and alien influence.” Mussolini called himself an “International Socialist“, later changed to “National Socialist“. Every prominent German and Italian fascist – from Hitler and Mussolini down – began as and remained a socialist.
      There you have it – the sordid spectacle of Antifa embracing and advocating fascist ideas despite its virulent anti-fascist rhetoric. Chalk it up to rank ignorance and the poisoned fruit of what passes for learning on today’s college campuses. Yet, there is one thing even stranger – the vast asymmetry between condemnation of abominations perpetrated by the far left versus those by what is alleged to be the far right.
      Historical fascists (really socialists) committed atrocities, killing at least 6 million (excluding war) innocents. Communists killed over 100 million innocents mainly in China, the USSR and Cambodia. Everyone on the political right unequivocally condemns the Nazi atrocities. However, there are many leftists, including intellectuals and professors, who refuse to condemn atrocities committed by the left.
       They say communism was a noble experiment and you have to break some eggs to make an omelet. They believe they will get it right the next time. They even call themselves Stalinists or Maoists. Imagine if some on the right called themselves Hitlerists or Mussolinists. Apparently, mass murders by the left are acceptable and even praiseworthy. Contemporary commies like Castro, Chavez, Maduro and their ilk are doing noble things. However, the horrors promulgated by fascists (socialists) were in the past whereas the great danger from the hard left lies in the present and future.
      In contrast to the real threat posed by Antifa, the threat from Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the KKK is minuscule and laughable; they are buffoons no one takes seriously. The left keeps these groups in the news so they can tar their opponents with associated epithets. Everyone on the right condemns these groups, but those on the left won’t condemn vile leftist groups. The KKK can’t muster 100 people for a rally and if they did, 70% would be paid government informants. The media prefer to write about white supremacists and the KKK rather than the serious issues facing America.
     The left is bankrupt but dangerous. Antifa embraces fascist ideas while condemning fascism. They still adore Stalin, Mao, Castro and Maduro. The left is not about ideas; it is about power. The left stifles debate because they know all the answers to everything. Academics is about validating their beliefs, not seeking truth. Science is politicized and has morphed into a handmaiden for the hard left. The end justifies the means. What we have now is an intolerant illiberal liberalism where hatred has replaced compassion.

The next post is about our first Thanksgiving as Americans

Taxation in America –  Who Pays How Much

Americans in the bottom 60% pay around 1% (net of credits) of all income tax. Ipso facto, any tax cut must necessarily benefit only the top 40% of Americans.
Taxation in America –  Who Pays How Much
By: George Noga – November 5, 2017
        This is Part IV of our intermittent series: Taxation in America. The first three parts are on our website: www.mllg.us. The final part likely will be in January once the outcome of tax legislation is known. This post reveals who pays how much in federal income tax. Also, I propose a new intrepid minimum and maximum tax plan.
        IRS data show Americans in the top 1% of income pay 40% of all federal income tax; the top 10% pay over 70%. Converting those data to living, breathing humans means that only 1.7 million people (one-half of one percent) pay that 70%. The bottom 45% of households pay no federal income tax whatsoever, while the bottom 60% pay about 1% (net of credits) of all income taxes. Note: people and income cohorts are not aligned, i.e. the top 10% of income is not derived from the top 10% of taxpayers.
      US corporate tax rates (including states) are 40% – the highest in the developed world. Politicians fool people into believing they will impose taxes on business or property – but not on real people. Economist Walter Williams uses a good example. You are a homeowner and the government imposes a property tax but tells you it is not a tax on you but on your property. You see right through that fraud. But when liberals say they are taxing corporations (and not you) you are suckered in. Corporate and business taxes are passed along to you in the form of higher prices just as property taxes are passed on to the homeowner. Only living, breathing people pay taxes!

MLLG Boldly Proposes New Minimum and Maximum Taxes

      Something is dreadfully wrong when in the richest nation on earth, 60% of its citizens pay virtually no income tax and hence have no skin in the game. They form a brawny advocacy group favoring government spending (since it costs them nothing) and opposing tax cuts because they threaten their government benefits and they will not benefit directly from lower taxes. This is something we must fix.
       MLLG’s minimum tax plan would continue to exempt the bottom quintile (20%) of Americans from income tax. The second lowest quintile would pay a de minimus tax rate of 6% subject to a minimum tax of $1,200 per year. The middle income quintile  (half of which by definition earn above average income) would pay a 12% rate subject to a minimum tax of $2,400. This minimum tax plan would give 80% of Americans a vested interest in reducing spending and taxes along with the, not inconsequential, quiet dignity of being a taxpayer and contributing to the common weal.
      When surveyed, large majorities of Americans consistently respond that no one should pay more than 33% of income in taxes. The MLLG maximum tax plan would cap all taxes at 40% – including federal, state and local income taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes (principal residence only), sales taxes and certain other taxes The maximum tax would be computed on a new one-page form filed along with your income tax. If taxpayers paid more than 40%, they would get a credit or refund from the IRS – which could recover pro-rata from the other taxing jurisdictions.
      MLLG’s minimum/maximum tax plan would make America a much fairer place while preserving a high degree of progressivity. When you hear that the rich do not pay their fair share, recall that one-half of one percent of Americans pay over 70%
      Inscribed directly above the entrance to the IRS Building in Washington is: “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society“. Stop and think about that one for a while. They got it dead wrong. Taxes are the price we pay for an uncivilized society!

In our next post November 12, we take on Neo-Nazis and Antifa.

Red October – The God That Failed

Communism fails because it is opposed to and irreconcilable with human nature.
Red October – The God That Failed
By: George Noga – October 29, 2017
       Humans have sought to create temporal paradises since the Garden of Eden. In literature, dreams of heaven on earth date to Homer’s Odyssey (Elysium) in the 12th century, BC. There have been numerous attempts to create Utopias, including colonists in Jamestown, Pilgrims in Plymouth and the 1789 French Revolution. Communism’s turn came 100 years ago this month when they took over the government of Russia.
      In all human history, attempts to create Utopia have led only to death, destruction and misery; the communists alone killed over 100 million. Never has any communist, socialist or collectivist scheme worked for any group larger than a family, clan or tribe. Despite this grisly record, many – ever in search of  Zion – continue to believe. What can possibly explain the beliefs of such people – including those who feel the Bern?
      Their belief is not based on evidence but on a longing for a moral basis in their lives. They are in search of a religion – but one without God. Politics is their new faith but they are anti-democratic because they already have all the answers. They long for equality but the equality that leads to conformity and despotism. They compare the ideal of communism with the practice of capitalism but never the results of each. They want to be judged by their intentions, never by their actions. They embrace platitudes from cans. They are oblivious to history and believe they will get it right next time.
    Capitalism stands in sharp contrast to communism. Just since 1970, worldwide poverty has fallen 80%. In arguably the greatest achievement in human history, billions of people have escaped poverty. Was this miracle due to the UN, World Bank, IMF, NGOs, government or socialism? No; it was due entirely to capitalism. Yet 70% of people surveyed believe hunger and poverty have gotten worse and only 40% of young Americans have a favorable view of capitalism. Socialism impoverishes people (Venezuela) while capitalism makes them wealthy; yet, people cling to illusions.
       Communism, socialism and collectivism are lies. They promise Xanadu,Valhalla and Elysium; they give you North Korea, the USSR, and Cambodia. They promise comradeship; they give you totalitarianism. They promise progress; they give you stagnation. They promise hope; they give you lives of quiet desperation. They promise Sweden; they give you Venezuela. They promise a new social order; they give you a smorgasbord of social pathologies. They promise truth; they give you Pravda.
     They promise liberty; they give you walls with razor wire and minefields. They promise equality; they give you equal poverty. They promise a clean environment; they give you a toxic wasteland. They promise technology; they give you Chernobyl. They promise a classless society; they give you political elites living in decadent luxury. They promise freedom and justice; they give you Gulags and the Stasi.
       They promise peace; they give you war. They promise Apple, Google and Disney; they give you lines, shortages and shoddy goods. They promise hope; they give you nihilism. They promise Mercedes; they give you Trabant. They promise Eden; they give you hell on earth. They promise Singapore; they give you Cuba. They promise abundance; they give you rationing. They promise Utopia; they give you dystopia.
       The enduring lesson of communism is that it never has worked and never can work because it is opposed to and irreconcilable with human nature. It always fails, not because it is implemented poorly but, because it is done faithfully. Although socialism, progressivism and liberalism may be less virulent forms of communism, the end result always is the same – economic stagnation, human misery and loss of liberty.
     Communism (and all other collectivist schemes) always makes high-minded and exalted promises but delivers nothing but a phantasmagoria of terror, slaughter and poverty. In the end, it is nothing but lies. It is the God that failed!

This concludes our Red October series; our next post is November 5th.