Arizona Lawmakers Call for Resolution to Hold Back Electoral College Votes

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

At a public hearing in Arizona with select members of the state legislature and members of President Donald Trump’s legal team, lawmakers called for their colleagues to support an upcoming resolution that would delay the release of the state’s Electoral College votes.

Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem told reporters during the Nov. 30 hearing that they hope to have a resolution “within the next 24 to 48 hours.” The state holds 11 Electoral College votes.

“We are clawing our Electoral College votes back, we will not release them,” Finchem said. “That’s what I’m calling on our colleagues in both the House and Senate to do—exercise our plenary authority under the U.S. Constitution.

“There is a legal brief out there that says we are not tethered to state statute when it comes to this one question.”

According to Finchem, the move would be easy to make and would be legally binding.

“A simple majority can call the House and Senate back, and in a day can pass a resolution and cause those electoral votes to basically be held,” he said. “And it is binding—I’ll see y’all in court.”

In total, nine Republican state lawmakers attended the meeting, which was held at a hotel in downtown Phoenix. They had requested permission to hold a formal legislative hearing at the state Capitol but were denied by the Republican House speaker and Senate president, according to The Associated Press.

Trump’s attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, alongside witnesses, appeared in front of members of the Arizona Legislature alleging that considerable voter fraud occurred in the state. They also pushed for the Republican-majority state House and Senate to hold a vote on the certification of the election.

During the hearing, a cybersecurity expert said the user manual for Dominion Voting Systems machines guides users on how to connect to the internet, and that the machines, used by multiple states, were connected to the internet during the election.

“The Dominion suite user manual is about an inch and a half thick. My team went back through the user manual and looked at all the instances where in the user’s manual, it tells operators to connect the ethernet cords to the router, and it is, the systems are connected to the internet,” said Phil Waldron, a cybersecurity expert and retired Army colonel.

“Our teams looked at spirographs on the Dominion network on Election Day and showed the increased web traffic, internet traffic on Election Day for Dominion servers.

“In a nutshell, these systems are not what you’ve been told, if you’ve been told anything…

Continue reading this article at The Epoch Times.

Reality and the Narrative

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

This article was originally published in American Greatness on November 28, 2020.

Oscar Wilde was such a card. Sitting for his viva voce examination in Greek, he given a passage to translate from one of the Passion stories in the New Testament. He started in and was barreling along fluently. At some point, one of the examiners interrupted, noting that he was satisfied by Wilde’s performance and that he could stop. Wilde ignored him and kept at it. The examiner interrupted again. “Really, Mr. Wilde, you may stop now. It is clear that you know the Greek.” “Oh please let me continue,” Wilde is supposed to have responded. “I want to see how it ends.”

Yuck, yuck, yuck. Who knows whether the story is true? I like to think it is. It’s not that I believe Wilde was ignorant of the plot of a Gospel story. He knew how it ended all right. But I admire the insouciance of his response.

Many people think the world is in a position akin to Wilde’s with respect to the 2020 presidential election. We’re all assumed to know how it ended. Joe Biden won. Any demurral on that score is put down to feigned ignorance, attempted cleverness, or petulant perversity.

After all, the Associated Press called the election for Joe Biden a couple of weeks ago. Other news agencies, from the Wall Street Journal and Fox News to CNN, the New Woke Times, and the Washington Post were right there on cue, hailing him the winner. Time, the former news weekly, devoted its cover to Joe Biden, “46th President of the United States.” Twitter was on the case, adding little warning messages to tweets about the election it didn’t like, suspending the accounts of people whose opinions it disagreed with, throttling the ability of those who dissented to broadcast their dissent. Who knows what Google and Facebook are doing with their search results. Some secrets are too deep for the light of day.

And that is my point. The strongest argument for Biden’s victory is not the vote tally. It is the monolithic narrative, pumped up like one of those inflatable play castles at a child’s birthday party. With every passing day, that narrative becomes more boisterous, more assertive, more uncompromising. It is a collective primal scream, emitted with eyes shut and ears plugged.

There is a problem for the narrative, however. Or more to the point, there are 73 million problems. A major concession in the Biden-won-give-it-up-narrative is revealed by the hawkers of the “Unity Now” meme. Let us all come together as one nation, under Joe, and reassert the American normality that has been so sorely missing under the despotic reign of Donald Trump.

No. No, that’s not going to fly, and not only because of the snarling viciousness that attended Donald Trump and his entire administration from the moment he was elected until now. Granted, Democrats are masters of hypocrisy. I will give them that. Brazenness is part of the formula. They are utterly unembarrassed by double standards. Indeed, they glory in them…

Continue reading this article at American Greatness.

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Roger Kimball is editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the president and publisher of Encounter Books. He is the author and editor of many books, including The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine’s Press), The Rape of the Masters (Encounter), Lives of the Mind: The Use and Abuse of Intelligence from Hegel to Wodehouse (Ivan R. Dee), and Art’s Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity (Ivan R. Dee).

U of A Faculty & Staff Arrested: FBI agents and U.S. Marshals took them away in handcuffs for a scheme to defraud taxpayers of $435 billion.

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

TUCSON – As part of a nationwide federal sting operation named “Bring Social Justice”, deans and top administrators from the Tucson-based University of Arizona were arrested at their homes last night and taken away in handcuffs by FBI agents and U.S. Marshals for what could be the biggest fraud in U.S. history.

The operation also resulted in the arrest of thousands of faculty and staff from other colleges across the nation.

I’m kidding about the arrests but not about the fraud.

Unfortunately, it’s no laughing matter. The self-righteous preachers of social justice and diversity deserve to be arrested for the injustices they’ve inflicted on Americans in general and poor minorities in particular.

An indictment would be clear and indisputable. It would detail how colleges conspired with the federal government to encourage students to take out student loans, even if they did not have the K-12 grades and the personal commitment to ever graduate or if they picked a major that wouldn’t command a high enough salary to pay off the loan in a reasonable time.

The government had and continues to have such loose loan criteria that basically anyone can get a student loan, regardless of credit history, grades or chosen major. But colleges didn’t have to aid and abet such a recipe for financial disaster and could’ve blown the whistle loudly and incessantly on the fiscal insanity, instead of taking the money and covering up the truth about the loan program.

Shamefully, college faculty and staff went along with the scam out of self-interest. They got the benefits of the money in terms of better job security, opportunities and working conditions for themselves, but at no cost to themselves when the borrowers defaulted, as many were obviously going to do, especially so-called minorities.

Anecdote: My son has two engineering degrees from the University of Arizona, a bachelor’s and a master’s. Before the start of his freshman year, I attended an orientation with him for new students and their parents. The engineering dean asked for a show of hands of those students who had not taken the required math placement test before enrolling, to see if they had the math skills to major in engineering. About a third of the students raised their hands, and most of them were minorities. It didn’t take a crystal ball to know that their odds of staying in the discipline were not good.

The latest estimate shows that the government is going to lose $435 billion on the student loan program, which means that taxpayers will have to foot the bill, including working taxpayers who have never gone to college, taxpayers who worked their way through college without taking out a loan or those who took out a loan and repaid it.

Social injustice, for sure.

At the same time, the easy money made colleges even more inefficient, complacent, and spendthrift than normal. They built swank dormitories (er, residence halls), first-class exercise facilities, dining options that rivaled those on a cruise ship, resort-like grounds and huge and hugely expensive sports complexes for their football and basketball teams. As a result, prices for college tuition and fees were 1,413% higher in 2020 than in 1977 (an increase of $282,614.47), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Now a move is afoot in Congress and the new administration to excuse all tuition debt and even make college free. There is already a loan forgiveness program for some targeted groups, and especially for those who take a public-sector job, which is an example of the government looking out for its own.

Anecdote: The notion of free college brings to mind a time years ago when I went to Iceland to conduct management training. Over dinner one evening, my host lamented that as a result of the tiny nation having free college, students tended not to rise before ten o-clock in the morning and took six years or more to get their degree.

Of course, history shows that nothing is more expensive than a free government program.

If there were social justice, free college would be a moot point in any event. That’s because colleges would be devoid of faculty and staff. They’d be serving time in prison for their role in the $435 billion college loan scam.

The Deficit Myth – Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy: A Review

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Professor Stephanie Kelton, an advisor to leading Democrats and the Biden campaign, has written the Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, a highly readable explanation of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Replete with frequent references to Sesame Street and Spider Man, it is just the work needed to inform the young Social Justice Warrior.

The key is the subtitle, the Birth of the People’s Economy. MMT is just the means to get to a “people’s economy” that “cares” about the environment and achieving income equality. Naturally, her definition of justice is assumed to be THE one and only definition.

MMT is not really a theory or is it new. It is more a clever accounting exposition of the plumbing of the “payments system,” the complex web tying fiscal and monetary players together. This includes key components such as the fiscal budget, the Federal Reserve, primary bond dealers, the commercial banking system and the credit markets.

It is not new because much of the work is old, dating back to a 1905 book by German socialist Friedrich Knapp, and neo-Keynesian economist Abba Lerner and his “functional finance” of the 1940s.

MMT makes multiple key assumptions and they are sweeping in their importance:

Government makes money. All money is derived from law.

A country that achieves “monetary sovereignty”, through a pure fiat currency, required for use to pay taxes and does not borrow in foreign currency, cannot default. That nation can print whatever money it needs to pay its bills.

Money is spent into existence by the government first and neither borrowing or taxation is necessary to fund the government.

Government deficits do not matter. They can be, and should be, as large as possible to achieve “full employment.”

The proper interest rate is basically zero percent.

Huge government borrowing crowds out no one. We owe China nothing. Government debt is our asset.

The Federal Budget is different than household, corporate or state because these other entities cannot spend money into existence.

Government should provide employment for all at a reasonable wage. They will be put to work in the “cares” economy. Scant detail is provided for this massive undertaking.

There is very little commentary about the impact this will have on the dollar as the reserve currency of the world.

Inflation is not caused by an increase in the money supply, but largely resource constraint. This assumption is hedged though, as we will shortly see. This assertion is among the most controversial because since 1870, there has been almost an 80% correlation of inflation to growth in the money supply. The battles over the budget, PAYGO, debt ceiling fights, concerns about solvency in Social Security are all meaningless. Whew!

She is quite irritated with Conservatives and main stream Liberal economists that do not appreciate her theory. She writes as a new believer who has had a religious experience and can’t understand people who have not seen the light.

Unlike Margaret Thatcher’s rule that socialism fails because it runs out of other people’s money to spend, Kelton sees no restriction on government other than lack of real resources. Government should be really big and do a lot of things for social justice.

While many of the assumptions are worth disputing, in fact much of the MMT agenda is already being implemented through massive FED Quantitative Easing, interest rate suppression, huge deficits and direct payments to individuals and business because of the Lockdown economy.

But what is more important perhaps, is her positions completely reverse the American idea of limited government. She wants the Federal government to subsidize even further the states, which will erode their independence to a point of non-functionality in a Federal system. Since the states lack “monetary sovereignty”, they are constrained. But with enough magic money from the Federal government, they too will become unconstrained and dependent on Federal regulation to keep the money flowing.

The American Founders set up a system acknowledging the natural tendency of men to abuse power in government and set up an elaborate system to control those dangerous tendencies.  This involves separate branches of government, multi-layered Federalism, sound money, an independent judiciary and a written Constitution.

As a work of political economy, this book is dangerous and naïve.  Basically, it boils down to government can grow to any size, and any cost, and it can and should be paid for by currency creation.  Government is not here to preserve liberty, but to create equality and save the earth. The Constitution is not consulted.

While aware of inflation, she feels it is easy to deal with.  The purpose of taxes for her is not to raise revenue.  Taxes only serve to withdraw money from the system if inflation becomes a problem and to redistribute income.

If inflation becomes a problem, price indices will tell Congress when to raise taxes to “drain” money out of the system.  Here at least, we do see a tacit recognition that the quantity of money has something to do with its purchasing power.

The two big indicators for her are price indices and “slack” in the economy. Neither are easy to measure and sometimes government plays with the indices to get the result they want. In today’s jargon, that would be the CPI and capacity utilization.

Briefly the rub is what Hayek called, the knowledge problem.  Economic indicators are mostly lagging indicators. You already have the problem before the numbers tell you.  Secondly, they are often inaccurate.  That is why central planning has always failed.

How much do you raise taxes and inflict and on whom, to get X reduction in the inflation rate?  Kelton does not know, nor could Congress.  What Congress cannot know; it cannot act upon.

If inflation rises, Congress must then act by either cutting popular programs or increase taxes on some people or activities.  Where is the evidence that Congress does taxes well? The tax code is longer than the Bible.

There is a difference between Congressional knowledge and Congressional will.  Often, as an institution, it lacks both.

What if Congress is divided and can’t act at all?

The reason we have an independent central bank was to keep money creation as much as possible out of the political realm. She wants it squarely in the political realm, with all the attendant practical and historical risks.

She also lacks knowledge of the 1970s stagflation, where the country suffered from high unemployment, high inflation, low capacity utilization, and low economic growth. Keynesians told us at the time these conditions could not exist together.  She basically does the same thing.

When government intervenes in market economies, like raising taxes, people react by changing their behavior.  If people expect money to lose value, that changes their behavior towards spending, saving, and investing.

When government controls prices, wages, and interest rates, this sends out faulty signals resulting in misallocation of capital, which in turn creates booms and busts. That crisis then requires more and more government intervention.

Government then gets into a mode much like the game of Whack-a-Mole, doing things to stop people from reacting to its policies. That only works if you destroy their freedom. It is as Hayek put it, “the road to serfdom.”

Ironically, after people lose their freedom, the planned economy still doesn’t work because in the absence of a market, all decisions are merely political and divorced from real supply and demand.

Neither she or anyone else knows the precise amount of money to create, what interest rates should be and when and by how much money supply should be reduced. The Federal Reserve has been attempting such feats for some time and we have had plenty of violent business cycles as a result. Their management was supposed to smooth out the business cycle, remember?

She expects Congress that is full of blowhards and political charlatans to do this better? Yes, she does.

The word entrepreneur could not be found in the text or the index. She just assumes under the burden of her redistributionists policies that we will all be productive. Socialism on a national scale, and even the experiments with localized communes and kubutzes, all have failed because people don’t want to work for the collective, but for themselves and their families.

She confuses money with wealth. Money is not wealth, rather production is wealth. Money is simply the means to exchange wealth. This is a serious misunderstanding on her part.

She also believes that socialism is compatible with democratic government and personal freedom. This is a matter of heated debate. She is silent on this controversy.

Kelton has written a superficially convincing book on how to fund a socialist paradise.  But by making money solely a creature of politics, she places us in historical jeopardy.

No fiat money has ever held its value for long for the reason that political chicanery wins. Trust in politicians is not presently or historically warranted. Inflation is a form of default. Liberty and order have not been secure when people are wiped out by inflation.

However, this book is important because it is superficially convincing and likely will become the economic template for the new socialist Democratic Party. Her name is affixed to the radical Sanders-Biden Unity Task Force agenda.

You need to know their arguments and be prepared to answer them.

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Neland Nobel recently retired after 45 years in the financial services industry.

Arizona Prop 208 Passed: An Economic Rabbit Hole

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Arizona voters have some serious ‘splaining to do about the passage of Proposition 208, which raised education funds by boosting income tax rates by up to 98% for high income filers. How could this have happened?

Arizona schools have already received over one billion dollars in new sustainable monies over recent years, with more coming. More importantly, Arizona public schools, without receiving much credit, have become a remarkable success story.

Academic achievement gains for minority students are among the highest in the nation. Arizona charter schools excel in competitive rankings.

But voters apparently weren’t focused on educational outcomes. Prop 208 was marketed as a way to get other people, “the rich”, to pay the freight. Even though it’s one of the oldest tricks in the tax-and-spend playbook, Arizonans fell for it while voters in 17 other states thought better.

California voters rejected the removal of a cap on commercial property taxes that would have been the largest tax increase in state history. Voters in Illinois, Washington and Colorado were among those who defeated reckless taxation proposals.

Many may not know that Arizona once was a high tax state, with a 7% top rate for individuals and a 9% top rate for corporations. It was considered regionally uncompetitive until the 1990s when income tax rates were cut 35% and deductions were expanded.

The result, according to data from the Arizona Tax Research Association, was 145% more income tax revenue, inflation adjusted, in 2017 than in 1991, a rate of growth that exceeded population growth by 60%. More importantly, Arizona’s real GDP increased 176% from 1987 to 2016, while the US GDP grew 100.4%. Clearly, Arizona’s relatively low income tax rates produced abundant tax revenues while attracting capital and capitalists.

No longer. The strategy of sound tax policy is to establish broad-based, fair taxes with the lowest possible rate where they are the least likely to do economic harm. Prop 208 fails on all counts.

It’s singles out a small group and whacks them hard. Unfortunately, the sector being picked on includes many small business owners who pay their business taxes through the individual income tax system.

These just happen to be the entrepreneurs who drive much of the employment and economic growth in the state. A 100% tax rate increase for them will be enough to discourage further investment in Arizona businesses and to encourage those who can to file elsewhere. Arizona will rank in the top five nationally for income tax rates, a radical change sure to generate impacts which won’t be pretty.

The schools and teachers who have been promised salary increases aren’t so lucky either. Unfortunately for them, Prop 208 provides a highly volatile funding source, while teacher salaries require a stable, reliable revenue stream.

High wealth income taxes are notoriously subject to downturns in the business cycle. In 2008, following the great recession, tax collections from high income filers dropped 32% or $1 billion. School authorities who peg permanent salary increases to this income source are almost assuring a future crisis.

Although Republicans may have dodged a bullet, the election of 2020 continued the trend for Arizona voters to reverse their historical support for prudent, limited government. It’s not likely that Arizonans have change their mind. But who they are have changed.

Migrants from California and other failing states seem to have brought their old voting habits with them, oblivious to the reasons Arizona offers an attractive, affordable quality of life.

Here’s what the spenders can’t seem to grasp. Editorialists and interest groups will never run out of worthy spending projects that a more “enlightened” government would surely fund. But high tax rates, especially on those who don’t need it” is a giant rabbit hole.

Once you start down it, you’re sunk. Government benefits, once conferred, automatically become permanent entitlements which can never be reduced. Meanwhile, high tax rates seldom produce as much revenue as projected, due to tax avoidance behavior. Eventually, basic obligations like public safety and pension funding can’t be met. The answer is… higher taxes on the economically productive. They eventually get fed up and leave.

A growing number of state and local governments are facing economic desperation from this vicious cycle. Let’s hope Arizona isn’t among them.

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Thomas C. Patterson, MD is a retired Emergency Medicine physician, Arizona state Senator and Arizona Senate Majority Leader in the ’90s. He is a former Chairman, Goldwater Institute.

Cost of Lockdowns: A Preliminary Report

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

In the debate over coronavirus policy, there has been far too little focus on the costs of lockdowns. It’s very common for the proponents of these interventions to write articles and large studies without even mentioning the downsides.

Here is a brief look at the cost of stringencies in the United States, and around the world, including stay-at-home orders, closings of business and schools, restrictions on gatherings, shutting of arts and sports, restrictions on medical services, and interventions in the freedom of movement.

Continue reading at: https:/www.aier.org/article/cost-of-lockdowns-a-preliminary-report

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This column from American Institute for Economic Research was published on 11/18/20 and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. The opinions expressed may not necessarily reflect the views of The Prickly Pear or of our sponsors.

Founded in 1933, the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) is one of the oldest and most respected nonpartisan economic research and advocacy organizations in the country. With a global reach and influence, AIER is dedicated to developing and promoting the ideas of pure freedom and private governance by combining advanced economic research with accessible media outreach and educational programming to cultivate a better, broader understanding of the fundamental principles that enable peace and prosperity around the world.

 

The Founders Outsmarted the Presidential Election Fraudsters

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Who chooses the President of the United States?

This question is by no means rhetorical.  For example, the mass disinformation media has chosen Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.  Many people liked this news, but I must disappoint them – the television broadcasters have, according to the U.S. Constitution, nothing to do with who will live in the White House for the next four years.

Maybe the Supreme Court chooses the President? No, the Constitution does not provide for this.  Could it be that the citizens of America choose their President? Following the U.S. Constitution, no.  So, who then chooses the President?

Before answering this question, let us note that, contrary to popular misconception, the President of the United States is not a representative of the American people.  State legislators and governors are representatives of the people, and at the federal level so are the members of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress.  (Currently, senators are also representatives of the people, but before the ratification of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913, they were appointed by state legislators).  So, who does the President of America represent?

The President of the United States of America, according to the Constitution, represents state legislators’ interests and no one else.

In general, the federal government’s structure in America reflects the numerous attempts of the Founding Fathers of the United States to introduce a system of effective state control over the federal government.  The fact is that the main difference between our country and all other countries, without exception, is that it was organized “from the bottom up,” that is, individual colonies voluntarily united against a common enemy – the British Empire.  All other “republics” on the planet were created “from the top down,” when the already existing provinces were graciously granted some independence by the already existing central government.

In building the American state, the fundamental principle was state control over the newly created federal power structure.  Therefore, from the Founding Fathers’ point of view, the federal government in Washington should consist of both representatives of the people (congressmen) and representatives of the state leadership – the federal President and senators.  This is how the institution of the Electoral College was invented and implemented.  The electors are appointed by the state legislatures, and they are the ones who elect the President of the country.

Continue reading at American Thinker

Gary Gindler, Ph.D., is a conservative columnist at Gary Gindler Chronicles and the founder of a new science: Politiphysics. Follow him on Twitter and Quodverum.

Most States Reject Higher Taxes at the Ballot Box: Arizona is the Lone Exception

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

While public attention has been on the highly charged speculations of the Presidential race, voters in 17 states throughout the country were asked to vote on a variety of tax measures at the ballot box.

The results of these measures were fascinating to say the least, especially the results in typically blue states that are generally favorable to higher taxes.
Despite Biden’s incessant promise to undo Trump’s tax cuts, voters in the country’s most liberal states rebuffed proposals to increase taxes across the board.

It is a well-known fact that these traditionally high-tax states have driven droves of citizens and businesses to lower-tax states such as Arizona, Texas and Utah in the past decade.  Except for measures to increase taxes on marijuana, tobacco, and other drugs, ironically, Arizona is the only state this election to pass the same economically ruinous policies blue states are now trying to undo.

Illinois voted on a measure to eliminate their Constitutional flat income tax system and institute a progressive, soak the rich system, which failed by a wide margin of 10 points.  Opposition to this change was realistically much higher than even 55 percent because in Illinois a Constitutional amendment can be ratified with a simple majority and voters who leave the question blank count as an affirmative for the measure!

California too, asked voters to increase taxes in the form of removing a cap on property taxes for commercial owners.  Like Arizona’s Prop 208, California’s Proposition 15 would have constituted the largest tax increase in California’s history.  Surprisingly, the measure has failed, leaving intact one of the shelters for California’s businesses.
Despite an oppositional education lobby and the proponents being outspent almost 2:1, Colorado’s voters
passed a REDUCTION in their income tax by a margin of 15 PERCENT!  Colorado’s flat tax system protects taxpayers from class warfare at the ballot box.

Even in Washington state that does not have an income tax – cutting taxes is popular.  The legislature repealed four separate onerous taxes on businesses including a plastic bag tax. These changes were on voters’ ballots as “advisory votes” which allow the electorate to affirm or oppose tax changes made by the legislature – all were supported by the majority of voters.

One of these measures was a repeal of a tax targeted at the aerospace industry which has threatened to send Boeing out of the evergreen state.  Alaskan voters too saw the wisdom of not killing the golden goose, where voters could have passed a measure to raise a $1Billion by sticking it to the oil industry, but the proposal failed by an almost 30 percent spread.

These results are astounding.  State and local economies have been pounded by the COVID19 shutdowns and there is almost universal acceptance that lower taxes on individuals and businesses will encourage growth and recovery.  The failure of the left’s tax policies is apparent to even the die-hard leftists in the bluest states in the country.  Their uncompetitive tax systems have driven away businesses and job-creators and hamstrung economic growth and they are now changing course.

After a decade of climbing out of the Great Recession, Arizona has rebuilt its economy by controlling spending, adopting competitive tax policies, and limiting regulatory burdens on businesses.  That has led to thousands of new jobs, a more diversified economy and prosperity in the state which has allowed for over a $1 billion of new sustainable monies to flood the education system.

Proposition 208 undoes all this progress.  Despite our state’s success story and liberal states trying to adopt our playbook, it looks like Arizona will have to learn the hard way

 

This Blog from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club was originally published on November 11. 2020 and is republished with permission. The opinions expressed may not necessarily reflect the views of The Prickly Pear or of our sponsors.

 

Lessons from the Election

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

We have now confirmed what it takes for a Democrat to get elected President in this country. There must be either a national crisis or an international pandemic occurring concurrent with the election. In 2008, Barack Obama won because the Republicans’ inept candidate mishandled the reaction to the loan crisis. Without an international pandemic, Joe Biden does not defeat Donald Trump.

For years we have been told that the MSM, educational institutions and the Entertainment community are turning out Left-wing robotons destined to give control of the country to socialist fanatics too stupid to understand their political philosophy is an international failure. The American people once again rejected that thinking. Republicans will hold the U.S. Senate, picked up seats in the House and added a Governorship. The Republicans added control of state legislatures despite over $50 million being spent by Eric Holder’s operation to attempt to win control there. Even if Joe Biden becomes president, he will have a narrow lane from which to operate.

No matter what happens, Donald J. Trump woke up many Americans to the reality that our government seems to not be operating in our best interest. The government here in California acts and votes for their self-interest, not ours (the residents.) The public employees spend hundreds of millions of dollars to elect officials who will act for their best interests, not ours. They put forth propositions that will raise taxes which will go to pay for their inflated salaries, pensions and lifetime gold-plated health insurance. They stood by as businesses were crushed in the pandemic, but no public employees were laid off. Their jobs are “essential” – ours are not.

The same exists in Washington D.C. Virginia, a formerly reliable Republican state, has turned Democrat based on the ever-expanding federal workforce taking over the Northern suburbs that adjoin D.C. They do not have our interests at heart. Rather, they have their own interests, especially the interest of expanded rule over us. Mr. Trump exposed that as never before. Even our national security apparatus nakedly operates for its own self-interests.

We Republicans will never go back.

As for those Never-Trumpers, I was speaking with an involved Republican who told me “I did not believe much in John McCain, but I went out and worked for him because he was our nominee. I did not care for Romney, but I worked hard to get him elected. Now these Never-Trumpers tell us they cannot support Trump because they are too high-minded.” Let it be made clear to all you people such as John Kasich, Bill Kristol, the Lincoln Project leeches and the rest – Adios. See you later. We don’t need you or want you back. If you can support a guy backed by Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and all the AOCs of the world then you are too deeply confused to be on our team.

We should all thank the Lincoln Project because they spent over $60 million trying to turn Republicans against President Trump. Yet 93% of registered Republicans voted for Trump in 2020 versus 90% in 2016. These people were harmful to the Republicans they worked for in the past and thankfully they do not work for them anymore.

We want the Hispanic gardener who understands American values and work hard every day for themselves and their family. We want the Black person who realizes Democrats are only trying to keep them on a modern-day plantation and they will never get a piece of the American dream listening to the trash Dems throw out to them.  These Americans have far greater wisdom than Never-Trumpers will ever achieve. You Never-Trumpers are dead to us.

You are probably thinking this next one:  Can we get rid of the pollsters?  I am reading a book entitled The Death of Expertise. The author questions why we are giving such little credence to “experts.” Maybe because they are so inept. More importantly why do we need these people to tell us what is going to happen? Why do news reporters feel compelled to tell us what a person is going to say while we are waiting for that person to come to a microphone? We have ears, we can listen to what they say and we don’t need a preview. Everything seems to need a preview today. Why?  When they are so defective like our polling industry, it is particularly curious. The candidates can hire their own pollsters and use that data for their campaign. The rest of the polls should just go away. If anything, they are harmful.

One has to wonder if polls like the Washington Post/ABC in Wisconsin which had Biden up 17 points less than a week from the election was an active attempt at suppression of Republican voters. What other explanation is there for a discrepancy of this magnitude? Even these two operations cannot be that incompetent.

Can we stop with the lies about the Republicans being the party of the rich? Chuck Schumer repeatedly tells us that while he is lining his campaign war chest with Wall Street dollars. Nancy Pelosi carrying on about the “working guy” while she has lived the life of the rich and famous for decades and then goes to expensive fundraisers with wealthy contributors. Most of the top ten wealthiest people in this country are Democrats. Biden lied in the debate and told us his average contribution was $43.  Maybe this is from someone who gives him monthly contributions of $30 that add up to $300. You do not raise $1.6 billion from $25 per person. That would be over 20 million contributors. The Dems have become the party of the rich and intellectually arrogant. They care about feathering their own nests and the only workers they care about are public employee union members. Are there successful Republicans? Damn right there are. That is because we want every hard working American to become fabulously wealthy. Even Democrats.

We have been told that Donald Trump was the problem. Whether Mr. Trump ultimately prevails or not we will have different Republicans running for president. We will see whether the likes of potential candidates like Mike Pence, Nikki Haley or Tom Cotton will be treated in a respectful way. Based on history they will be attacked for a litany of supposed misdeeds. Whoever wins the Republican nomination will be assailed in a malicious manner validating that was not all about Trump. It is just the manner of our political opponents

If Joe Biden is our President, the Democrats will have given us a cognitively challenged president who will be in charge for up to four years.  His skills and energy will dissipate. It will all be worth it in their eyes because they believe the ends justify the means.

Bruce Bialosky is a nationally  known columnist. He was appointed by President Bush to the U.S. Holocaust Commission and is the Founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California. This article first appeared 11/8/20 in Flash Report  and is reproduced herein by the permission of the author. Comments can be directed to Bruce@Bialosky.biz.

The Trump Loss and the Role of Libertarians

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

As the after-action reports filter in for the most recent Presidential election, for those who lost (which at this writing is still undetermined), high on the list must be the treachery of the mainstream media, the big tech companies and voter fraud.

Not getting sufficient attention yet is the role played by the Libertarian Party and its associated think tanks and publications.

Although final numbers are not yet available in all key swing states, it would appear that the Libertarians have delivered to the nation, the most pro-socialist, big government group of Democrats, ever to walk the earth. It would appear that Trump lost PA, GA, WI, and perhaps AZ because of the Libertarian vote.

Critically, it also likely forced the run-off race for the Senate in Georgia (the Purdue race.) It is the U.S. Senate that must prevent the loudly declared leftist agenda of the Democrats with a Biden Presidency.

It stretches the word irony that a small party that proclaims its dedication to liberty and limited government would willingly deliver such a result. It should cause these merry mischief makers to reflect carefully on what they have done.

And who was the Libertarian candidate? Can you name her? Did you know it was a her? Was she even on your political radar?

Libertarians are supposedly socially liberal and fiscal conservatives. They are supposed to believe in liberty and advance its prospects. But they have been drifting to the left for some time. Libertarians of recent vintage believe in open borders, drug legalization, personal sexual liberty and generally are agnostic or atheists as it relates to the function and role of religion. We say “recent vintage” because many earlier Libertarians endorsed more traditional, religious based morality. If not, they tended to be followers of Ayn Rand, who developed a fairly strong morality based on reason. Neither type of earlier Libertarian endorsed situational ethics.

To have a limited government, people must largely control themselves via some internalized moral system. They must be responsible for their own lives and their own support, except in the gravest failures. And even then, private charity and local support should come before federal intervention and largess. Thus, the attack on morality and the family must necessarily make big government more likely. Do Libertarians understand that?

In theory, open borders promoting the free flow of capital and people, would be ideal. However, when you have that coupled with the welfare state and identity politics which destroys the functioning of the “melting pot”, it falls dangerously short of ideal in terms of sustaining and protecting liberty.

But most Libertarians oppose constant foreign wars, excessive paper money creation, judges that legislate from the bench and the Administrative State. They favor school choice, believe in religious liberty, oppose national healthcare, believe in capitalism usually to an extreme and oppose identity politics because they believe in treating people as individuals as opposed to racial categories. The also strongly support the Second Amendment and federalism with its dispersion of power so important to the American founding. In most ways, they share common ground with Conservatives.

Personally, I like Libertarians. They often produce stimulating arguments and challenging views that make one think and reflect on first principles, like non-aggression, peaceful commerce and social harmony. But when if comes to practical politics, Libertarians are unrealistic and naïve to the point of foolishness. Also, they tend to see little connection between cultural trends and those of politics (it is often said that “politics is downstream from culture”.)

It is hard to see why a Libertarian could vote for a Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

You might say, they did not and they might believe that. But in a close election, not voting for the Republican means Democrat victory. Get it?

Some might argue it is a sophisticated way of creating divided government. We doubt such careful calculation is in the equation. More likely, it is their own sense of self-importance and their joy in teasing the major parties that pay insufficient attention to them. But the record of Libertarians often electing Democrats is pretty clear. Besides divided government is paralyzed government, which does not work well in crisis. If you want the government to shrink, would you not want to elect or influence the party mostly likely to shrink it?

Likewise, dealing with the Chinese threat to liberty requires greater unification of the parties.

It would seem electing Libertarian leaning candidates within an existing party would be time better spent than sabotaging the party pushing for a smaller, less intrusive government.  The Republican party is often a leaking vessel carrying the ideas of liberty. Isn’t that good enough reason for Libertarians to be within the Republican party, fighting to hold the party of less government accountable for failing the cause rather than helping elect the party of massive government and decreased liberty?

Instead, Libertarians may be responsible for costing Trump the election and put the forces of limited government in a position where recovery could be difficult if not impossible. Trump after all, was NOT an establishment Republican.

While Trump no doubt rankled them for his positions on immigration, abortion, his personality quirks and lack of fiscal conservatism, he was the candidate that started to deregulate, nominated strict constructionist judges, defended the Second Amendment, the First Amendment, promoted school choice, opposed national healthcare, attempted to scale down our endless foreign wars and protected religious liberty. He also endorsed prison reform, enterprise zones, cut tremendous amounts of regulation and cut taxes. He even attempted to appoint Judy Shelton, a pro-gold standard economist to the Federal Reserve.

He was moving his party in a more limited government direction, not perfectly, but substantially.

Whatever his failings, he clearly was better than the weak and confused Biden who already is being besieged by left-wing elements demanding payback for their loyalty.

Trump himself, is the victim of “deep state” machinations that should be opposed by all friends of limited government. Do Libertarians really like the CIA and FBI interfering in elections?

Do Libertarians think the Democrats will deliver fiscal conservatism and sound money?

On some key Libertarian social issues, Trump was largely silent on pot. He largely respected federalism through the Covid pandemic and let the states do their thing, giving us at least a range of public policy choices valuable to future research for what works.

But is pot legalization really more important than the Bill of Rights?  Even if one supports legalization, the priorities are all wrong.

In terms of sexual issues, Trump moved to decriminalize homosexual behavior in foreign countries.

On abortion, Trump is pro-life. Libertarians themselves differ on abortion but all would agree it should not be subsidized by the state. If Roe is overturned, the states will determine abortion policy which should not be offensive to Libertarians.

Neither candidate ran on fiscal conservatism, but the Democrats have openly embraced socialism, free college education, the Green New Deal, racial reparations, Modern Monetary Theory, climate change regulation, harsh Covid lockdown – all of which would make Trump the relative fiscal conservative.

So, if our calculations are right, Trump supported due process for males on college campus, opposed the violence of Antifa and Black Lives Matter, opposed the teaching of critical race theory, reduced foreign wars, reduced our dependence on international organizations, reduced the regulatory state, defended the Bill of Rights. And Libertarians voted against him because of WHAT?  Immigration policy? Marijuana legalization? Failure to balance the budget? His tweets?

With a huge expensive state, how can you balance the budget?  Smaller government means smaller budgets. By defeating Trump, now what are the chances of balancing the budget?

If our analysis of Libertarians is correct, they will rightfully go down as one of the most foolish political movements ever to pretend they support liberty.

In politics, you never get all that you want. The choices are basically who on balance moves the country in the direction you seek. Perfection is not part of the political equation and, frankly, is not part of the human condition. This advice is applicable to Conservatives as well, who often find the Republican Party just as frustrating.

If Libertarians felt their “independence” of either major party signals their moral purity on key issues, they have succeeded in putting in power the least likely party to advance liberty.

That, my friends, is a poor calculation. It is virtue signaling of the worst kind. It is making a moral statement that not just has little meaning. Rather, it actually succeeds in getting the opposite of what your supposed virtue supports.

It goes beyond being childish and ventures into the self-destructive. Pay attention to me, it seems to say, or I will burn down the house.

What is the solution?

Perhaps serious self-examination by Libertarians is in order. As far as Republicans are concerned, the GOP needs to reach out to fellow liberty lovers and make them feel more welcome within the party.