Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

The Biden Administration

The Biden Administration   <– PDF

Let us first take stock of where we are politically in America.

  1. We have endured a biological attack by China for the past 11 months in the form of the Wuhan virus. Fortunately we had President Donald “America First” Trump in office who was able to organize the government bureaucrats and the smart people in the research community to develop a vaccine in record time, something that very few people thought was possible, given the standard interval is about five years. The media claimed he was a fool to even try it.
  2. All summer long, Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA led “mostly peaceful protests”, mostly involving burning down police stations, federal courthouses, and many businesses, while the local police stood by and the Democratic leadership endorsed, encouraged, and applauded these street armies. The local politicians only allowed the police to arrest a handful of them, and few were prosecuted. The media made the appropriate excuses for these Marxist mobs.
  3. The governments of many states, mostly led by Democrats, decided to use the Wuhan virus to shut down their local economies, ruining many businesses and putting many out of work. At first it was to “bend the curve” of infections, but it soon became a test of how much tyranny the public is willing to put up with. The real goal, as always, was to somehow make the federal administration look bad.  The media made the appropriate accusations against Mr. Trump.
  4. The Democrat Party abused the judicial system during the summer of 2020, using the Wuhan virus as an excuse to obtain decrees on voting procedures that superseded the powers of the State legislatures. This happens to be unconstitutional, since Article 2 of the Constitution clearly states that only a State legislature can enact electoral laws. The objective, as we saw in November 2020, was to deluge the electoral system with fraudulent mail-in ballots that could not be verified.  That is how the Democrats got Joe “Wimpy” Biden elected President.  The media defended the unconstitutional activities of the judicial activists who ignored the Constitution.
  5. A great many affidavits attesting to electoral fraud were received and Republicans brought them to both state and federal courts, but all of those challenges were rejected on procedural grounds. No evidence was ever examined by any of the courts (as far as I know). The Republican lawyers made a huge error in not demanding that all the evidence be preserved for future examination, including the ballots, signature cards, voter rolls, and time-tagged tallies in the voting machines.  It is tantamount to a baseball batter bragging that he will hit a grand slam on the first pitch, without bothering to check if there are any guys on base.  That error allowed the Democrats to destroy all the evidence; now it is impossible to prove the veracity of the affidavits; we will never know how much fraud there was.  We now have six or seven States that run Presidential elections the way local elections are run in Chicago and Philadelphia.  The media demonized anyone who believed that something was not right.
  6. A rally was held on 6 Jan 2021, in which Mr. Trump listed the various ways in which the election results were questionable, and then encouraged the attendees to peacefully protest in front of Congress. Congress was at that time certifying Mr. Biden’s election. But ANTIFA members and a handful of not-too-bright Trump supporters engaged in a BLM/ANTIFA-style mostly peaceful protest at the Capitol, involving breaking windows, smashing down doors, and occupying Congressional offices.  A total of five people died: a police officer from head injuries, a protester from gunshots, and three others of “medical complications”.  The electoral balloting had to be stopped, and the members of Congress had to be led to a safe place until the Capitol police could remove the retards.  Now here is an important insight: all summer long, the Democrats in Congress praised the actions of the “mostly peaceful protestors” around the country who invaded people’s places of business, robbed them, and burned them to the ground.  Millions of Americans were inconvenienced for months by the BLM/ANTIFA mostly peaceful protests.  But, when the same tactics were employed against their (Congress’) place of business, inconveniencing them for a few hours, it’s an “insurrection”.  Poor babies; but I doubt they will get much sympathy.  The media chanted “Trump led a coup, Trump supporters are guilty of sedition and insurrection”, right on cue.
  7. The tech giants Amazon (led by Jeff “I own that too” Bezos), Google (led by Sundar Pichai), Facebook (led by Mark “Junior High” Zuckerberg), Instagram (owned by Facebook), YouTube (owned by Google), and Twitter (led by Jack Dorsey) have banned most conservatives (defined as anyone who is not a card-carrying Democrat) from their platforms on the grounds that conservatives are a general menace to society. They even managed to put PARLER (a competitor to Twitter) out of business. The media approved of the suppression of free speech.
  8. Today the Democrats impeached Mr. Trump for “inciting a riot”, despite there not being a single sentence in his speech that called for one. Maybe he should have called for a mostly peaceful protest. The media will brag how they won the revolution.

So, to summarize, as is typical in revolutions:

  1. Pressure from below by the BLM and ANTIFA street armies.
  2. Pressure from above by the suppression of speech by the tech monopolies, doing indirectly what the government cannot do directly — on behalf of the Democrats.

That is where we are.  What happens when Mr. Joe “Wimpy” Biden takes office on 20 Jan 2021?  The Democrats will take the opportunity to suppress the Constitution specifically and the rule of law in general; take away as many civil rights as possible; promote the interests of their favorites; demonize and ridicule their enemies (real and imagined); and attempt to acquire absolute power over everyone’s life.   The Democratic Party consists of vengeful, implacable, vindictive, hateful, hypocritical, arrogant know-it-alls, just like the “cool kids” back in junior high school.  Watch out: people who have never graduated from junior high at an emotional level will now be running the country.  How do we know Mr. Biden is a wimp?  The same way as in junior high: the kid who always swaggered around, talking tough, but scared to death of being challenged to prove it.  Unfortunately, as in junior high, the big talk may be enough to ward off any common sense ideas.

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Real World Graduation, Question 99: PAC Employees

RealWorldGraduation_Question_99_PAC_Workers   <– PDF

Many members of Congress hire their spouses or other relatives to work on their permanent campaign staff or political action committees [1].   These people are paid by either the campaign funds or from contributions made to the political action committees.  It is not necessary that the relatives, as employees, perform any particular task as part of their employment.  It is legal for members of Congress to put relatives on their payroll for these jobs, but in what ways might it be considered unethical or immoral?

a) If it’s legal, then it cannot be unethical or immoral, so this question is irrelevant.

b) It constitutes nepotism, in which family members get special treatment (good paying jobs) simply for being relatives.

c) It is possible that the relatives are no-shows, simply being paid as a means to enhance the family income without actual work being performed.

d) It is possible that the family member is less qualified than other people to perform these tasks, so the organization is not getting the best talent for the money.

e) Some combination of b), c), and d).

[1]   Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Outrage, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007, pp. 111-115

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Real World Graduation, Question 84: Cabinet Nominations

RealWorldGraduation_Question_84_Cabinet_Nominations   <– PDF

Article 2, Section 2 of the U. S. Constitution states, regarding the office of the President:

“He shall have power, by and with the consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may by law vest the appointments of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in courts of law, or in heads of departments.”

The President’s Cabinet members fall under the category of “officers of the United States”, and require confirmation by the Senate.  A member of the U. S. Senate once voted against the creation of a federal Department of Education (although it passed).  But now, many years later, he has been nominated by the President to be the Secretary (head) of the Department of Education.  On what grounds should the Senate confirm or not confirm him?

a) His original opposition to the creation of any federal Department proves that he cannot be trusted to lead any department. Therefore the Senate should not confirm him.

b) The Senate should not confirm him. The fact that he voted against the creation of the Department proves he is opposed to education, so schools will get worse under his “leadership”.

c) The Senate should not confirm him. If he voted against the creation of the Department, then it is likely that he has contempt for teachers, teachers unions, Department of Education workers, and children in general.  Such a person would not command respect within the department.

d) The Senate should confirm him only in the interest of getting him out of the Senate. True, his original vote proves he is unqualified, but he will do less harm overall as a member of the bureaucracy than as a member of the Senate.

e) The Senate should confirm him only if he promises not to change current policy and promises to recuse himself from budget debates; that way, his biases against education will have no practical effect.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Real World Graduation, Question 78: Tax Rates

RealWorldGraduation_Question_78_Tax_Rates   <– PDF

The U. S. has a graduated personal income tax system.  This means that income levels are divided into several levels, and those income divisions are taxed at different rates.  The tax rates increase as the amount of income increases.  The tax rate of the lowest division of income is called the “base rate”, and all the other tax rates at the higher income levels are called “marginal rates”.  As a person’s income increases, the marginal rates become higher, hence the name “graduated tax”.  For example, in tax year 2014, the income level divisions and marginal rates for single persons and married couples were:

a) 10% rate for incomes between $0 and $9075 (single person), $0 to $18150 (married)

b) 15% rate for incomes between $9075 and $36900 (single), $18150 to $73800 (married)

c) 25% rate for incomes between $36900 and $89350 (single); $73800 to $148850 (married)

d) 28% rate for incomes between $89350 and 186350 (single); $148850 to $226850 (married)

e) 33% rate for incomes between $186350 and $405100 (single); $226850 to $405100 (married)

f) 35% rate for incomes between $405100 and $406750 (single); $405100 to $457600 (married)

g) 6% rate for incomes above $406750 (single); and above $457600 (married)

There are slightly different marginal rates for “heads of household”, but those are not relevant for this topic.

The overall size of the federal government depends on how much tax revenue it can obtain. It is clear from the tax schedule above that those who earn more must generally pay more in taxes.  Some activists desire to reduce the size of the government by using a tactic they call “starving the beast”.  The idea is that if marginal tax rates are reduced, the government will receive less income tax revenue, and thus will ultimately force the government to reduce its budget targets.  The claim is that in the long run, steadily declining revenue will require the government to reduce its spending and therefore its size.  In other words, nearly all taxpayers would have more money left over from their paycheck.  In what ways could this policy “starve the beast”?

a) Money that would otherwise go to the government can be spent on appliances, cars, etc; the benefit accrues to selfish individuals and deprives the government of some revenue.

b) Money that would otherwise go to the government can be spent on furthering one’s education; the benefit accrues to selfish individuals and deprives the government of some revenue.

c) Money that would otherwise go to the government can be spent on charitable causes. The benefits accrue to the less fortunate, but deprives the government of some revenue.

d) Money that would otherwise go to the government can be spent on vacations or saved for the future; either way, the benefit accrues to selfish individuals and deprives the government of some revenue.

e) All of the above to varying degrees, depending on individual preferences.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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