Enduring Principles of American Politics

The first and foremost principle is that America is a center-right country. 
Enduring Principles of American Politics
By: George Noga – May 26, 2019

           Judging by our feedback, readers can’t seem to get enough of our non-partisan political analysis. Many readers have requested a posting that contains a complete listing of MLLG’s principles of American politics. This post fulfills that request.

 

          Presidential elections are influenced by, inter alia, parties, candidates, events, issues, ads and debates. Based on American political history and tradition, MLLG has identified eight enduring principles that exert an outsized effect in determining who wins; such principles usually transcend parties, candidates, issues and events. These principles provide you a strong foundation to better understand the 2020 election.

1. America is a center-right country. Forget this principle and you get a Goldwater or McGovern-like outcome. This remains true in 2020; all the prattle about democratic socialism is limited to about 20% of the population. The only center-left candidates elected in the past 75 years were Carter and Clinton, southern state governors, and Obama, who ran as a centrist, was a rare political talent and faced insipid competition.

2. Economics trumps all else. Clinton’s mantra “It’s the economy, stupid.” was exactly on target. If the economy in 2020 remains robust, it creates a powerful tailwind for the incumbent. Every econometric model shows Trump winning handily if the economy remains strong. Voters always reward a politician who makes them better off.

3. There are no permanent majorities. Issues, positions, alliances and demographics continually shift and minority parties skillfully adapt. Movements of all types get subsumed into larger groups. This principle is not relevant to the 2020 election.

4. Money is important but not dispositive. Clinton spent $1.2 billion to Trump’s $600 million in 2016 and still lost. Any serious candidate will get the necessary funding. Spending money has diminishing returns and, at some point, negative returns – a case in point being Huffington’s 1994 CA senate race. Money will not be a factor in 2020.

5. Incumbency is powerful. In the past 126 years, only 2 elected presidents lost head-to-head elections. Americans always vote for the fool they know over the devil they don’t. This principle, ceteris paribus, confers great advantage to Trump in 2020.

6. The longer a party is in power, the more likely it is to lose. With only the exceptions of FDR and the post Civil War era, we must go back 225 years to see any party in power for more than 12 consecutive years. This is not a factor for 2020.

7. Define yourself before your opponent does; as a corollary, define your opponent before he does. It is essential to define who you are with the electorate; failure to do so lets your opponent define you. Like a good joke, defining yourself and your opponent must contain some truth to be effective. Trump is a master of this principle and he employed it to great effect in the 2016 primaries and general election.

8. Polls and approval ratings have limited value. The value of polls lies in identifying issues and sentiment more than who is ahead or behind. Polls today are notoriously inaccurate and undercount Trump support by 3-5 points; no major poll predicted a Trump victory in 2016. Don’t get too worked up over early polls, or any polls for that matter. Remember that many Americans don’t seriously focus on elections until after Labor Day and often don’t decide until weeks, or even days, before an election. Carter led Reagan well into October, yet Reagan ended up winning 44 states.

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       As you watch the 2020 election drama unfold, there is one wild card with the potential to utterly disrupt politics as usual. I am referring to the “blexit” movement, i.e. the black exit from the Democratic Party. MLLG was among the very first to identify this trend in our February 12, 2017 post (see it on our website: www.mllg.us). Next week’s post is devoted 100% to blexit. This is a post you won’t want to miss!


Blexit – the black exodus from the Democratic Party – is next up on June 2nd.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Spending Crisis – Part IV

We chose to steal from our children and grandchildren rather than control our spending.
Spending Crisis – Part IV
Can Catastrophe Be Averted?
By: George Noga – May 19, 2019

        This is the fourth and final post in our Spending Crisis series, available in its entirety at www.mllg.us. Our headline asks, “Can Catastrophe Be Averted?” The answer (spoiler alert) in one word is: no! If something cannot go on forever, it won’t; the spending cannot go on forever, so it won’t. America today is only 2-3 years from the point-of-no-return, from which no nation ever has escaped without grave harm.

          The USA will blow past the point-of-no-return because there is no constituency for action and there won’t be until the crisis affects people’s daily lives. Politically, there is no incentive, and in fact there is a strong disincentive, to act absent a manifest crisis. When the crisis arrives, government initially will take only quarter-measures and it will be far too little, far too late. We simply have dug the spending, debt and deficit hole too deep; but instead of beginning to fill in the hole or even to stop digging, we blithely continue to dig the hole ever deeper, oblivious to the consequences.

         The most likely initial government response to the crisis will be to hold short-term interest rates at or near zero – and perhaps even negative. If the interest rate is ultra low, the amount of debt theoretically is unlimited. However, although the Fed exerts strong control over short-term rates, they don’t have similar control over long-term rates. Alternatively, the Fed can simply buy an unlimited amount of debt in a massive quantitative easing process. Neither of these actions is without consequence and at some point everyone will know that the emperor has no clothes.

Comments from Reviewers

        Three highly knowledgeable people, to whom I am grateful, reviewed this series. No one disputed the data or the analysis. Most were less pessimistic about the final outcome, although they didn’t present solutions; one wrote, “Things are never as good or as bad as they at first seem; the sky is not falling – it never does.” Another wrote, “As long as (people) continue to invest in our Treasury debt, the crisis will not happen. The point-of-no-return comes when no one will invest.” All the reviewers noted that, despite everything, we are better off than in the past and than most other countries.

         One reviewer suggested we might be able to reduce the debt to acceptable levels, over many years, by a combination of inflation and weakening the dollar such that foreign holders of our debt absorb most of the pain. Officially, foreigners hold only 39% of the debt, but this reviewer believes the real number is higher as some foreigners mask their ownership. However, this reviewer acknowledges this tactic can only succeed if the US gets its budget into balance; otherwise, it doesn’t matter.

Two Dimensions to Crisis: Excess Debt and Balancing the Budget

        There are two distinct dimensions to the spending crisis. First, we must purge the system of all excess debt to return the debt/GDP ratio to an acceptable level. Second, we must get our spending under control and balance our budget. Even if aliens from another galaxy showed up and miraculously repaid our national debt, we would be right back in the same position unless we got our budget into reasonable balance.

        Timing: When Will the Crisis Begin?

         The most frequent questions I get are about timing. The short answer is that there is no way to know. No bell goes off when the crisis begins; no bell went off in Japan or Greece; at first, the crisis may seem transitory. I can make a credible argument that the crisis already may have begun given the ultra low interest rates. In all of recorded history (since 3000 BCE) there never before have been zero or negative interest rates.

        The best answer I can muster is the crisis will be in full bloom when the ratio is 125% to 150%. But it could happen much sooner; once markets see where things are headed, it isn’t necessary to wait until they get there. It also could happen much later. I recall Adam Smith’s admonition, “Be assured, that there is a great deal of ruin in a nation“. By that, Smith meant it requires much to completely ruin a nation, which can survive mistakes, stupidity and disastrous policies far longer than is assumed.

 

Concluding Thoughts

            The spending crisis has many moving parts and it is easy to get overwhelmed by the data. Fundamentally however, it is simple. The US has spent and borrowed too much in relation to the size of its economy. It is rapidly approaching a hard and fast tipping point (90%) determined by the inexorable laws of mathematical compounding and from which no nation ever has escaped without great pain and a lost generation.

           By the time the crisis is manifest, the budget gap will be over $1.5 trillion per year, or 30%, amidst punishing demographic forces. There is no realistic way to bridge that gap. Perhaps, catastrophe can be postponed or ameliorated with extreme financial repression – which in itself will put America in crisis; moreover, it won’t permanently solve the fundamental problem. Ultimately, all excess debt must be purged and the budget brought into some semblance of balance. There is no other way out!

       Charles Murray, one of the titans of our time, recently said, “The American experiment in self-government is essentially over“. I fear he is correct, as America in 2019 panders to people’s fears and prejudices, while it ignores existential threats. The spending crisis, which will cost America a lost generation, was eminently foreseeable and preventable. It is at root a moral crisis because we lacked the will to act.

          We chose to take from our children and grandchildren rather than to control our own spending. To make matters even worse, the money we stole was not put to good use. Instead of borrowing to save our nation from calamity (as in World War II), we stole the money from future generations to finance a perpetual New Year’s Eve party.

Note: Email us with questions or comments. We may publish a follow up post in a few weeks with reader questions. We also are open to publishing other viewpoints; if you are interested, email us for guidelines. We will continue to publish regular updates about the spending crisis.


Next up: MLLG’s Complete Principles of American Politics

Spending Crisis – Part III

Possible solutions: grow, cut, tax, inflate, repress, restructure, repudiate, seize, MMT
Spending Crisis – Part III
Possible Solutions to Spending Crisis
By: George Noga – May 12, 2019

           This is the third of four posts in our Spending Crisis series, which is available in its entirety at www.mllg.us. There are many theoretical ways a spending crisis could be averted; we could grow, cut, tax, inflate, repress, restructure, repudiate, seize, or MMT our way out. More likely, we will employ a combination of these measures.

          Grow: There once was a time, as recently as 5-10 years ago, where growth was a possibility: no longer. There is no way the economy can grow at a faster rate than the debt, which currently is growing by 5.25% and increasing to 8.00% by 2025.

         Cut (Spending): FY 2019-2020 spending will be about $4.7 trillion with a deficit of $1.1 trillion. To balance the budget requires spending cuts of 23.4% but, by the time an impending crisis gets Congress’s attention, cuts of 30% will be necessary. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, pensions and defense would have to be savaged to such an extent as to sow the seeds of civil unrest. Moreover, the cuts would have to remain in effect for 15 straight years just to get back to today’s 78% debt ratio.

       Tax: Balancing the budget will require a 36% tax increase. Even if possible, it would be self defeating, as sky-high taxes would lead to economic stagnation. Note: tax hikes are a higher percentage than spending cuts due to starting from a lower base.

        Inflate: Inflation is the cruelest tax of all and devastates everyone’s plans, hopes and dreams. Just to cut the debt in half requires 10 years of 7.5% inflation provided the deficit is not increasing during that same time. Realistically, it would require 20%  inflation for ten or more consecutive years just to maintain the status quo.

       Repress: Repression is government action that insidiously transfers wealth from the private to the public sector to facilitate financing massive public debt. It includes: (1) low or negative interest rates; (2) war on cash; (3) currency/capital controls; and (4) bail-ins. We already have repression; it will get much worse as the crisis approaches.   See our post of November 11, 2018, devoted entirely to financial repression.

       Restructure: Debt restructure likely will be part of the government crisis response. It takes many forms including: (1) lengthening maturities; (2) requiring roll-over; (3) imposing haircuts; (4) lowering interest rates; and (5) conversion to other securities.

       Repudiate: Nations that have repudiated are unable to borrow again for decades. Any repudiation would be perpetually tied up in courts and would decimate the savings of ordinary Americans who own government debt, directly or indirectly, in money market accounts, pensions and annuities. A direct repudiation is unlikely.

       Seize: When crisis hits, there will be $25 trillion of IRA, 401(k) and pension assets; government could seize some or all such assets in exchange for government pensions. In recent years, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ireland and France have, through one artifice or another, seized money from pension assets. Government, like Willie Sutton, will go where the money is and that place is pensions.

         Modern Monetary Theory: MMT has been around for a while but recently has been embraced by the democratic socialist crowd as a justification for unlimited spending. MMT asserts that a sovereign government that issues debt in its own currency, has flexible exchange rates and controls its central bank can spend without limit or constraint. With MMT, the state simply creates unlimited amounts of money.

Combination of Most of the Above

          Just to stabilize (not to fix) the ratio requires $1.25 to $1.50 trillion per year from the above sources for up to 15 years. In the early stages of the crisis, a panicky government will: (1) enact VAT and/or carbon taxes; (2) make modest spending cuts; (3) increase repression; and (4) tweak Social Security and entitlements. It will be too little, too late; at most, it could slow the progression of the crisis for a few years.

          In the advanced stages of the crisis anything is possible including: (1) massive tax increases; (2) hyperinflation; (3) severe financial repression including negative interest and currency/capital controls; (4) debt restructure; and (5) reliance on MMT to create unlimited amounts of money. When the crisis reaches the desperation stage, I would not rule out government seizure of most or all IRA, 401(k) and pension assets.


        Our final post in this series (next week) addresses the ultimate question of whether or not a spending crisis catastrophe can be averted. Don’t miss it.

Spending Crisis – Part II

Official government data are frightening – despite being wildly optimistic.
Spending Crisis – Part II
Analyzing the Data
By: George Noga – May 5, 2019

       This is the second of four posts on the spending crisis. The entire series is available on our website: www.mllg.us. Parts III and IV will be distributed on May 12 and 19 respectively. We begin with some data. The current public debt to GDP ratio is 78% and is increasing rapidly. GDP has been growing at 2.5% (with no recessions); we assume it continues to grow at 2.5% in the future, but at a net rate of 2.0% after taking into account the inevitable periodic recessions. The debt is now growing at 5.25%; we assume it grows at 6% until 2025, 8% to 2028 and 10% thereafter – again net of recessions. This assumption is consistent with projected deficits and demographics. These are conservative assumptions and actual results are likely to be worse.

          Based on the assumptions supra, the US will exceed a 90% ratio in 2022 and a 100% ratio in 2025. After 2025 it gets really ugly, with the ratio approaching 150% by 2030. Social Security is now devouring its reserves, Medicare exceeds its funding in a few years and interest on the debt skyrockets. Deficits will average $1.5 trillion over the coming decade. The deficit easily will exceed $2 trillion during the next recession and it would not be shocking for it to be as high as $2.5 trillion, or even $3.0 trillion.

          The really bad news is that the above data (mostly from government sources) are wildly optimistic. For example, CBO projected in 2018 that the deficit would not go above $1 trillion until 2022, but now is expected to exceed that in FY 2019-2020. CBO is touted as being non-political, but it really isn’t; it is required to follow the rules established by Congress. Hence, CBO is severely constrained and its data are neither objective nor accurate. MLLG’s data have proven to be far more accurate.

Caution: Don’t get hung up on the source of the numbers or the specific timing. There is no significant difference whether you use CBO, MLLG or other data; they all lead to the same ultimate outcome, only the timing differs slightly

Significance of a 90% Public Debt to GDP Ratio

          The 90% ratio is not arbitrarily plucked from the ether. Governments have been borrowing money for 600 years and there is no example of recovery from a 90% ratio without social and economic upheaval, usually accompanied by a lost generation until excess debt is purged. The 90% ratio is valid because beyond 90% the mathematics of interest and compounding results in an economic death spiral. Note: The World Bank asserts the tipping point is reached at 77%, which the US already has exceeded.

          The crisis doesn’t begin on cue when the debt ratio hits 90%; that just represents the point-of-no-return. The crisis may not begin until years later when the ratio reaches 125%, or even higher. The 90% ratio is analogous to Titanic hitting the iceberg. The ship remained afloat for quite some time after the iceberg encounter and no crisis was immediately evident to passengers. Nonetheless, the moment Titanic hit the iceberg its fate was irreversible as is a nation’s fate once its debt exceeds 90% of its GDP.

The Mathematics of a 100% Public Debt to GDP Ratio

          When GDP and the debt are equal, i.e. the ratio is 100%, it is much easier to grasp the mathematics of the death spiral. At a 100% ratio, the economy (GDP) must grow as fast as the debt to prevent a meltdown. Herein we assume that GDP grows at a sustained 2% rate net of recessions and in 2025 debt grows at 8%. The differential between the growth of the economy and the debt is then 6% per year; debt grows $2.0 trillion while GDP grows $400 billion. The annual addition to the debt now is up to $2.0 trillion and increasing; soon thereafter, the debt reaches critical mass.

           Clearly, our debt is growing at a much faster rate than our means to discharge it. This is readily apparent to creditors who are likely to demand much higher interest rates. If interest on the debt simply reverted to its historic level of a composite 6%, it would amount to $1.5 trillion a year in 2025, equal to about 25% of the budget. Long before America reaches that point, the spending crisis will be in full bloom.

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Next on May 12th – Part III: Possible solutions to the spending crisis.

Spending Crisis – Part I

At root, the spending crisis is moral rather than economic.
Spending Crisis – Part I
Introduction and Background

By: George Noga – April 28, 2019

           This is the first post in our series about the spending crisis. It is a spending crisis and not a debt or deficit crisis because it is the spending that drives both the debt and deficits. It is a moral rather than an economic crisis because preventing the crisis requires only summoning the national will to control spending. It is about who we are as a people, what kind of country we bequeath to our children and our national security and survival. I have marshalled all the facts, logic and wordsmithery I possess to explain this crisis in an objective and non-political manner.

Our series is in four parts. Part II, Analyzing the Data, will be distributed May 5, Part III, Possible Solutions, on May 12, and Part IV, Can Catastrophe Be Averted?, on May 19. The full series is now on our website www.mllg.us. The series was reviewed in advance by three experts with diverse viewpoints. I carefully considered all their feedback, incorporated much of it and offered to publish any dissenting opinions.

         In addition to my MBA, CPA background, I have studied economics for 50 years. I devoted much of one summer in Montana to constructing a quantitative model of the US economy, including the deficit, which has proven to be highly accurate. I have been writing about the crisis of spending, debt and deficits for over a decade.

Background Information

         US GDP now is $21.0 trillion; the public debt is $16.3 trillion, while the total debt is $22.2 trillion. This results in a public debt to GDP ratio of 77.6% and a total debt to GDP ratio of 105.7%. The $5.9 trillion difference between the total debt and the public debt consists of intragovernmental debt, which mostly is money owed to Social Security and, to a lesser extent, to FHA and other agencies. For example, when Treasury spent the Social Security surplus, it issued special non-negotiable bonds.

        Throughout this series we use the public debt ratio and not the total debt ratio because intragovernmental debt is notional, with interest accrued and not paid in cash. It is analogous to writing yourself an IOU. Most who cite the higher total debt ratio do so out of ignorance or as a scare tactic. However, there are some credible sources who believe total debt is more relevant than public debt. If they are right, our debt ratio is 105.7% and not 77.6% and America is much worse off than described in this series.

           There are some who minimize the seriousness of the current ratio because it was higher (115%) in the aftermath of WWII (the only time prior to 2009 it was above 50%) and America easily recovered. However, the WWII deficit saved America from totalitarianism and was transitory. Afterward, war expenses ceased, Social Security ran surpluses, Medicare didn’t exist and demographics were favorable. Now, the deficit is structural; Social Security, Medicare and pensions run huge deficits and demographics are bleak. We are in the tenth year of an economic expansion and growth is 3%; yet, the FY 2019-2020 deficit will be $1.1 trillion and increasing each year thereafter.

       It must be noted that many states, counties and cities also are in serious debt trouble and will, at some point, require federal government bailouts. Private debt is hovering at an all-time high. The world debt to GWP (Gross World Product) ratio currently is 84% and spiraling upward. Global debt (public and private) is $230 trillion and is over 300% of GWP. Although these issues are beyond the scope of this spending crisis series, they deserve at least some recognition.

          We close with some examples that seem to defy expectations. Japan’s debt ratio is 250%, but dedicated pension assets lower the effective ratio to 110%. The NIKKEI index is down 46% from 1989 and economic growth is 1% amidst chronic deflation. Greece’s ratio hit 180%; it avoided default due to its small size and bailout by the EU. It’s economy contracted, pensions were halved and there was social and political upheaval. Italy, with a 130% ratio, is following in Greece’s tracks. Even though they avoided default, Japan, Greece and Italy did not escape the consequences of massive debt; they all have suffered lost generations and their crises are far from resolved.


Next on May 5th is Part II of our series about the spending crisis.

Earth Day 2019: Print This Email!

Fight back against paternalistic, proselytizing, political preening.
Earth Day 2019: Print This Email!
By: George Noga – April 21, 2019

        “Please consider the environment before printing this email” is a common liberal animadversion appended to personal and business emails; it is wrong for four reasons: (1) it gratuitously injects politics into a non political situation; (2) the sender is clueless that it is a divisive political statement; (3) it is virtue signaling; and (4) it is factually wrong as printing does not harm the environment, but actually helps save our forests.

      Progressives would (rightfully) take umbrage if emails were appended with: “Please consider adoption before abortion”. It is even worse when businesses make political statements. Why would businesses, which would not deign to hector you about contentious political issues, arrogantly foist their ersatz environmental views about paper products on customers? You can and should push back. When I receive an offending personal email, I attach the following subscript to my reply.

         Please print this email. Trees are a farmed product grown expressly for paper. It makes no more sense to conserve paper to save trees than it makes to conserve cloth to save cotton. Paper is natural, biodegradable, organic, renewable and sustainable. Working forests employ millions of Americans and help the environment by providing clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. There are more trees planted commercially each year than are consumed; there are more trees than 100 years ago. Failure to print hastens the conversion of forests into strip malls and parking lots.

         When I receive an offending business email, I append the preceding paragraph but also let them know that I resent their presumptive and unwanted intrusion into my personal life by injecting politics into a business relationship. I usually couple this with a demand that they remove my name from all their lists. When I receive responses from businesses, they claim they weren’t being political; they arrogantly and ignorantly believe there is universal agreement that conserving paper helps the environment. Well, if that were true, then what is their purpose in adding it to all their emails?

Tree Glut Causes Humongous Price Drop

 

         In the southeast US timber growing region, there is a veritable glut of trees which has driven prices down 50% to 70% and is causing growers steep losses. The volume of southern yellow pine (used for paper) has quadrupled in recent decades as many farmers replaced cropland with trees. In total, 2.2 million acres were replaced. Prices now are so low that it sometimes isn’t worth the cost to harvest trees. Somehow, this surfeit of trees, decades in the making, has eluded progressive tree huggers.

      Actually, I fully agree with the environmentalists’ admonition to “consider the environment before printing“. However, they (surprise) got it backwards. By all means, you should consider the environment – and then go right ahead and print all you want, the more the better. By printing, you can take great satisfaction in knowing you are doing your part to help the environment and to save our great American forests.


Next on April 28 MLLG begins its new series about the spending crisis;
This is by far our most thorough and analytic presentation of this issue! 

Hillary Loses 2016 Popular Vote Election

AOC’s mother fled New York for Florida to escape sky-high taxation.
Hillary Loses 2016 Popular Vote Election
By: George Noga – April 14, 2019

       We are reminded ad nauseum by HRC and her media acolytes that she won the 2016 popular vote. The subtext is that Trump stole the election and it delegitimizes him, the electoral college and our republic. I heard this fusty canard once too often and sliced and diced the numbers – and came to a startling conclusion: Trump wins and Hillary Clinton loses a 2016 popular vote election. Here are the numbers.

       There were 136,669,276 total votes cast, of which HRC received 65,853,516 (48.18%) and Trump 62,984,825 (46.09%). In a true popular vote election however, there would have been a runoff because no candidate got an outright majority. In a runoff, HRC putatively gains Jill Stein’s (Green Party) 1,457,216 votes and Trump picks up Gary Johnson’s (Libertarian Party) 4,489,221 votes. The totals then would be Trump 67,474,046 and Clinton 67,310,732. I did not count the votes of the 26 other candidates, which were inconsequential and would have been split nearly equally.

          In the scenario above, Trump wins the popular vote by 163,314. Of course, in a popular vote election Trump and Hillary both would have campaigned differently with the outcome likely close. However, when you hear some latte left liberal regurgitate the HRC popular vote fairy tale, you now have the ammo to set them straight.

        Moreover, by one reckoning, Trump is the most legitimate president of our time. In office, he has done exactly what as a candidate he said he would do. He is totally transparent (maybe even too transparent) about telling Americans what he is thinking at any given time. The voters got precisely what they voted for, unlike say Barack Hussein Obama, who ran as a centrist but governed from day one as a progressive.

Blanca Ocasio-Cortez (BOC) Flees New York for Florida

         Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s mother (BOC) lived in New York most of her life; she worked two jobs as secretary and cleaning lady. Despite her hard work, BOC could not afford to live in New York. In an interview following her recent move to Eustis, Florida, she said, “I figured it was time to move to Florida.” She called her move a “no-brainer” and went on to say, “I was paying $10,000 per year in real estate taxes in New York but now I am paying $600 in Florida. It’s stress-free down here.”

        While AOC was running for Congress, BOC said, “She is fighting for the working class; she is fighting for immigrants.” AOC’s first act was to help kill 25,000 well paying Amazon jobs that would have been a godsend for workers. Based on her tax and spending positions, AOC will turn New York into even more of a hell hole for working class families. By her own account, BOC is working class and is overjoyed to bolt New York; her actions speak volumes as do the actions of millions of other New Yorkers who, like BOC, have escaped New York to stress-free states.

Progressive Paroxysms 

    Progressives have been having paroxysms over politically incorrect statues, monuments and murals. It is difficult not to conflate their actions with the Taliban’s barbaric erasure of history. It brings to mind a passage from Orwell’s 1984: “Every book has been rewritten, every picture repainted, every statue, street and building renamed and every date altered.” . . . . . . Once upon a time, Leftists used to say, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Now they say, “I disapprove of what you say and I will stop you from saying it.


Next, on April 21st, is our special Earth Day 2019 posting; don’t miss it!

Political Principles and Fake Media Honors

Americans prefer to vote for the fool they know rather than for the devil they don’t.
Political Principles and Fake Media Honors
By: George Noga – April 11, 2019

          Previously, we blogged about some key non-partisan principles of American politics ; (1) there are no permanent majorities; (2) the longer any party is in power, the greater the chance it will lose; and (3) the role of money. Now, another principle, i.e. the power of incumbency.  We will identify more principles in future postings.

Principle: The Power of Incumbency

           In the 126 years since 1893 there have been only two elected presidents who lost reelection in a head-to-head race. Hoover lost because of the Great Depression and Carter lost due to economic disaster and fecklessness. Throughout history, Americans strongly prefer to vote for the fool they know rather than for the devil they don’t.

       And yes, this bedrock principle of American politics applies to our current president. According to econometric models with sterling track records for picking presidential winners, Trump would be a heavy favorite if the election were held today. Donald Luskin of TrendMacrolytics, which tracks GDP growth, gas prices, income, inflation, tax burden and payrolls, has Trump with 294 electoral votes in a blowout. Yale/Fair asserts Trump will win 54% to 46% even with just a mediocre economy. Politico says Trump has a strong shot at winning reelection in a landslide.

           Anything can – and likely will – happen between now and November 2020, but it would be a huge mistake to underestimate the power of incumbency. By the way, you won’t see anything like this (see infra) in the New York Times or on CNN.

Democrat Party 2020 Platform

          Based on their own proclamations, democrats stand for: reparations for slavery, a new wealth tax, impeachment, late-term abortion and infanticide, 70% top income tax rate, giving felons and 16-year-olds the vote, refusal to repudiate anti-semitism, free college tuition, Medicare for all, abolition of the electoral college, amnesty for illegal aliens, packing the Supreme Court, federal jobs guarantee for all, $15 minimum wage, green new deal (no air travel or cows and one car per family), abolishing ICE, major cuts to defense, abolishing filibusters, single-payer (government) health care, federal licensing and control of large corporations, gun control, nationalizing voter registration, abolishing or changing the Senate, imposing democratic socialism, statehood for DC and Puerto Rico and tearing down the existing walls on our southern border. With popular ideas like these, how can democrats possibly lose?

Journalistic Honors: The Pulitzer Prize and The Cronkite Award

          Recently, my wife and I spent a few weeks in a remote venue with access only to the New York Times and CNN. I had forgotten how truly horrid they are. There was no line demarcating news and opinion; they covered only stories fitting their narrative; and much of it was fake. They persisted in ballyhooing Trump-Russia collusion long after it was dead obvious to most regular people that it was mighty thin gruel.

         It is therefore fitting that the most prestigious journalistic honors are named after purveyors of fake news. Joseph Pulitzer was a scurrilous, muck-raking yellow dog publisher, best known for his fake news promoting the Spanish-American War. Walter Cronkite achieved his acclaim based on fake reporting of the Tet offensive. Moreover, these awards are given only to progressive journalists who toe the party line.

Fake reporters reporting fake news receive fake journalism

awards named for fake journalists famous for fake reporting.

       These journalism awards are so fake they inspired us to come up with similar awards for other professions such as: the Kevorkian/Gosnell Prize for Excellence in Medicine, the Bernie Madoff Award for Distinction in Finance or the John Gotti Prize for Accomplishment in Law Enforcement. We could go on, but you get the drift.


Next on April 14th – Did HRC really win the 2016 popular vote?

Wanted: More Millionaires and Billionaires

Newly minted millionaires and billionaires are essential for a thriving society.
Wanted: More Millionaires and Billionaires
By: George Noga – April 7, 2019

         Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez condemned “a system that allows billionaires to exist“. Her chief of staff tweeted “Every billionaire is a policy mistake.” Pocahontas called billionaires “freeloaders“. Bernie Sanders said “Billionaires’ insatiable greed is having an unbelievably negative impact on the fabric of our country“. The economic illiteracy of such people is staggering. Even the laughable commie economists (oxymoron) of the old USSR understood that new millionaires were vital to economic success.

      In a market economy, one becomes rich only by creating a product or service voluntarily purchased by sovereign consumers. The more people helped, the greater the wealth. Sam Walton, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos became billionaires by improving the lives of hundreds of millions, or even billions, of people. Newly created wealth is the best metric for gauging how well a society is innovating and serving the needs of its people. A society with no new wealth creation is stagnating.

        Many who well understand that wealth creators are vital to America’s prosperity, nonetheless believe inherited wealth is evil. They are wrong; however, we leave that issue for another day. We do note however that almost all great wealth is dissipated within three generations due to the ever-increasing number of heirs, estate taxes, charitable bequests and poor decision making. Also, much of the motivation of the original wealth creators was to provide financial security for future generations.

        Not only is the latte left dead wrong about wealth creation, its positions on many other economic issues – tax rates, minimum wage, free college, Medicare for all and rent control – are voodoo economics and nothing short of modern day witchcraft.

Income tax rates/minimum wage: These were subjects of full postings on March 3 and 10 respectively and are available on our website: www.mllg.us. In those posts, we showed that higher tax rates do not result in more tax revenue and that minimum wages are insidious and harmful, especially to the people they purport to help.

Free college: Social science degrees from overcrowded schools, with courses taught by graduate assistants, are cruel hoaxes. The inevitable result is a surfeit of psychology, sociology and hyphenated-studies majors driving for Uber. Free college devalues all college degrees and the added competition from more degrees suppresses wages. There will be more degreed people seeking the same number of jobs requiring degrees.

Rent Control: Government creates housing shortages by restricting development and then compounds it by enacting rent control. They blame landlords when the problem is due entirely to government failures. Ultimately, it leads to more homelessness.

Medicare for all: The bill Democrats introduced in Congress provides for rationing and reinstitutes the dreaded Obamacare death panels. Even the Canadian system, which is better than many, is a failure; see our July 22, 2018 post entitled “Canadians Flock to Whitefish“. In Canada, the median wait time between referral and treatment is 21 weeks and years in some provinces. Over one million Canadians (3%) are on wait lists when same day service is inexpensive and readily available in the USA.

        Progressives prefer to attack the wealthy rather than to improve the lot of the poor; they care more about appearances, class warfare and political talking points than about results; it is much easier to demagogue billionaires than it is to reduce poverty. Instead of billionaires being policy mistakes, good economic policy fosters creation of more billionaires. Most Americans don’t resent success, they want to achieve it!


Our next post challenges Hillary Clinton’s claim to winning the 2016 popular vote.

Jussie Smollett’s America

If America is a crucible of hate as the left believes, there should be many acts of racism. Yet, there are so few such incidents that progressives must invent them.
Jussie Smollett’s America
By: George Noga – March 31, 2019

           I have written often about Matt Shepard and the “hate crime of the century” and I am disappointed with myself for initially believing the media version of Matt’s death because I could not reconcile the reported facts with the America I know and love. I had similar disbelief when I first heard the media reports about Jussie Smollett.

       Racial hoaxes have been a progressive staple since at least the 1987 Tawana Brawley episode. Al Sharpton created the fraud, falsely accusing four white men of raping a black woman. Although the Brawley hoax was debunked, Sharpton vaulted into national prominence, made millions in media deals, ran for president and visited the Obama White House 82 times. He has never apologized. Sharpton established the paradigm that there is much to gain and little to lose by creating racial hoaxes.

       Everyone is familiar with, inter alia, the Duke lacrosse and UVA hoaxes, but there have been many more. Following are 20 hoaxes since Trump’s election, all hyped by the media. There are many more, but the following list provides a good sampling.

  1. Muslim woman at University of Michigan alleged threats for wearing hijab.
  2. Bisexual student fakes Trump-inspired hate crime.
  3. Ashley Boyer in Philadelphia reported phony racial slurs and threats.
  4. Louisiana woman made up story of attack by a man wearing a MAGA hat.
  5. Member of black church arrested for vandalizing his own church.
  6. NY woman falsely claimed subway attack by Trump supporters.
  7. Man set his own car on fire and painted racial slurs on his own garage.
  8. Native American falsely claimed harassment by Trump supporter.
  9. Muslim student at Beloit College wrote anti-Muslim slurs on his dorm door.
  10. Israeli man perpetrates bomb threats against synagogues and Jewish schools.
  11. St. Olaf black student sent racial threats.
  12. Air Force Academy prep school student wrote racist notes targeting himself.
  13. Kansas State student wrote racist graffiti on his own car.
  14. Missouri high school student of color wrote racial slurs on school mirrors.
  15. In Texas, a Mexican woman fabricated a note with anti-Hispanic slurs.
  16. A NY woman made up a story about white teens yelling racial slurs.
  17. Drake University student made five racially charged threats – against himself.
  18. Anti-Semitic vandalism in NY was work of Democrat activist.
  19. A black parishioner in MS burned his church and blamed Trump supporters.
  20. Trump inspired hate crime stories promulgated by Native American.

The left believes America is a crucible of hate and violence and a cauldron of racism and bigotry inhabited by gun-toting, homicidal, psychotic homophobes. In such a country there should be numerous and frequent racist acts. Yet, there are so few such incidents that progressives and diversity-crazed bureaucrats must invent them. In truth, racist incidents in America are rare exceptions to what is now the norm.

       The real hate crime is the visceral contempt, revulsion and loathing progressives and the media have for America, which was on full display throughout the Smollett hoax. The left seeks to destroy America’s moral legitimacy in order to increase its power and to give them license to harass opponents. The American left, once known for compassion and justice, is now consumed with hatred – for America.


Our next post is entitled: “More Billionaires Wanted”.