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Economy

Michael Grunwald fervently believes in the superiority of Communism

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Why else would Grunwald title his POLITICO piece “The anti-innovation presidency“? In that article, Grunwald laments proposed cuts and administrative gutting of certain federal agencies, arguing that flies in the face of Trump’s commitment to “innovation.”

Not only does the Trump budget slash climate science and clean energy research beloved by Trump’s critics, it whacks advanced manufacturing programs and fossil energy research catering to Trump’s supporters, as well as basic science and medical research beloved by almost everyone. It’s a powerful rejection of the innovation-industrial complex, and even though Congress is likely to ignore most of it, a similarly powerful reflection of Trump’s political war on Washington elites.

If government programs like manufacturing, energy research, and clean power are the drivers of our technology, then we should be looking at the old Soviet Union, or Maoist China (before the “special economic zones”), or any of a passel of Eastern European countries before the iron curtain collapsed, for our model. Or modern-day Venezuela, even.

Historically, though, the U.S. government has played a vital role in seeding and developing technological advances ranging from supercomputing to hydraulic fracking, advanced prosthetics to lactose-free milk, LED lighting to MRI testing. The Trump budget represents an abrupt departure from this tradition, at a time when federal expenditures on R&D have already drooped to their lowest level as a share of the economy since the Russians launched Sputnik. This has innovation experts scratching their heads, since Trump’s entire budget depends on yet another departure from budget tradition, a blithe assumption of 3 percent annual growth. Mark Muro, policy director at the Brookings Institution’s metropolitan studies program, says that with America’s workforce shrinking, the clearest pathways to that kind of robust growth would be more immigration and more innovation—and Trump has made it clear he doesn’t want more immigration. But he doesn’t seem to think Uncle Sam can help make innovation happen, either.

This is total liberal talking-point and lobbyist horse manure. Federal spending on R&D are far outpaced by corporate spending in pursuit of the profit motive. Grant money is typically sprinkled like party favors on research institutions eager for patronage and sinecures. The actual advances in technology come from profit-motivated individuals.

William Shockley started his lab to make a lot of money. His acolytes left because they felt they could do business better than he did–and together they founded Fairchild Semiconductor. The rest–from Intel to Apple–is history. The government bought lots of Fairchild’s products, but the government didn’t do the innovating.

Yes, NASA and the space race led to all kinds of innovations, but guess who lost that race? Yes, the Soviet Union, with its entire government-centered innovation model. While hundreds of contractors in the U.S. provided the innovation, because of a profit motive.

Trump’s way of fueling innovation is far–FAR–more productive than Grunwald’s call to pour more money into federal agencies. Cutting the federal corporate profit tax will spur more innovation in the U.S., because it will allow companies to spend more on R&D.

Even with a few thousand words, the only argument Grunwald is left with to continue massive government research funding is to look to command economies, like the communists of yesteryear, where innovation was by necessity a function of government.

And the fact that legislators are pushing back so hard on Trump’s cuts only bolsters the argument that the cuts are needed. That Uncle Sugar money is nothing more than patronage that the business world could replace with investment in a heartbeat. So it will likely be business as usual in the Military-Industrial Complex (or the more pernicious research money complex) of which Eisenhower warned.

America beat communism because we are capitalists, not because our government funds or creates innovation. Government creates nothing. We would do well to remember that.

Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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Economy

Will GOP stop Trump’s trade war as the Constitution requires?

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When Donald Trump announced YUGE tariffs on imported solar panels and residential washing machines back in January, he launched a trade war reminiscent of 1800’s protectionism and laid the foundation for higher prices for American consumers, along with the loss of thousands upon thousands of jobs.

Unfazed by historic evidence that such trade wars inevitably lead to economic disaster, Trump proceeded with a second round of attacks on the free market in March by imposing across-the-board tariffs on steel and aluminum, complete with his personal assurance that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

While Trump initially suspended steel and aluminum tariffs against the EU, Mexico, and Canada–providers of roughly fifty percent of steel imports to the US–he announced this past Friday that the tariffs are back on. And for good measure, he issued an additional threat to Germany that he would completely ban the import of luxury cars if they chose to retaliate with tariffs of their own against US goods.

As was the case in March, members of the GOP are threatening to prove they actually have a spine, and there are indications that they might do something this time around to stop Trump before it’s too late.

Sen. Pat Toomey (PA)–for the record, that’s a steel state–will be co-sponsoring Sen. Mike Lee’s bill S.177 to end Trump’s abusive practice of using “national security” to impose tariffs and to return tariff authority back to Congress where it Constitutionally belongs.

Other Republicans joining with Toomey and Lee are Sens. Jeff Flake (AZ), Corey Gardner (CO), and Ben Sasse (NE).

Besides the fact that tariffs are simply terrible economic and foreign policy, Trump has used the threat of tariffs against China as leverage for his personal financial gain; essentially extorting money from the Chinese government to finance Trump golf courses and hotels in Indonesia and securing a boatload of trademarks for his and Ivanka’s business interests in China.

If passed, S.177 will give the power to approve or disapprove Trump’s tariffs back to Congress, not to mention that it would save the American people from an economic catastrophe.

The only question is, will Republicans do what required to fulfill their Constitutional duty or will they cave to Trumpism in hopes that it will help them in November? The clock is ticking . . .

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Economy

Obamanomics damaged the economy, and Trumponomics isn’t fixing it

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While Trump and the GOP want you and me to believe that Trumponomics has singlehandedly saved the US economy by reducing taxes and creating jobs, the reality for those of us living in the real world is quite different.

It was Mark Twain who once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” When it comes to politicians in an election year, Mr. Twain could have been describing the Washington establishment owned and operated by the Republicans and Democrats.

No doubt you’ve heard the much-ballyhooed news that unemployment has dropped to its lowest level since 2000, coming in at 3.9%. But just as it was when Obama manipulated unemployment numbers to cover his pathetic economic policies, this recent jobs report has been manipulated to hide the truth about our very unhealthy economy.

Unemployment numbers can change for any number of reasons:

  1. People move from the unemployed category into the employed category
  2. The number of employed grows faster than the number of unemployed
  3. You simply add people to the employed category without changing anyone’s status
  4. You simply stop counting people in the unemployed category, making them magically disappear

When we consider that the number of jobs added in April was 164,000 while the number of unemployed dropped by 239,000, we can conclude that reason #4 is how the latest unemployment rate was manipulated to make things look better than they really are. Unemployment went down because the labor-participation rate fell to 62.8 percent after being 63 percent in February and 62.9 percent in March. Three consecutive months of declines.

Quite simply, when you are no longer working or looking for work, the government no longer includes you as a part of the equation to calculate the unemployment report.

Meanwhile, Trumponomics is also creating a slower growth rate than Trump is claiming while his tax cuts and record government spendingdespite the recent rescission cuts—is creating another threat to the US economy, an apocalyptic debt spiral adding trillions to the already unsustainable national debt.

Obamanomics caused a great deal of damage to the US economy, but Trumponomics isn’t doing anything to repair it; in fact, Trump’s plan will likely destroy what’s left of it.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Democrats

Forget lowering unemployment, Bernie Sanders will eliminate it!

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During his 2016 Democrat primary campaign, Bernie Sanders was “absolutely sympathetic” to the idea of a universal basic income; however, he felt that his plans for a $15/hr. minimum wage, expanding Social Security to pay for guaranteed healthcare, and providing free college would do more than creating just another government handout.

But now Bernie has apparently found a way to accomplish his goals as well as the goals of the universal basic income crowd.
Yesterday, we learned that the self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist is ready to announce a plan that will guarantee every American “who wants or needs one” a lifetime government job paying at least $15/hr. and proving paid family and medical leave plus retirement, health, and vacation benefits.

While the details are still being worked on, Bernie has admitted that he currently has no idea exactly how much his plan will cost or where the money to pay for it will come from. However, if his 2016 campaign is any indication, the cost will be irrelevant, and the money to pay for it will come from “the billionaires and oligarchs” he refers to as the “top one percent of income earners.”

While it would be tempting to shrug off Bernie’s plan as the rantings of a socialist loon living to the left of the left-wing, we should remember how his Marxist beliefs concerning income inequality caught fire with a generation of Constitutionally ignorant voters raised on the socialist ideology taught in today’s public schools indoctrination centers.

And a poll conducted during the 2016 primary season showed that a majority of millennials rejected capitalism.

Democrats would see a huge voter advantage by creating a new state-run workforce dependent upon them for their jobs. And politicians from both parties would have a new voter-bloc to advance their ideological and political agendas.

Bernie’s plan is being called a guaranteed-jobs program, but the only guarantee it gives us is the destruction of capitalism and Constitutional America.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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