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How much could peace in the Middle East cost? Around $50 billion, according to Kushner’s plan.

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How much could peace in the Middle East cost Around 50 billion according to Kushners plan

99 times out of a 100, any time there’s a new program or initiative being introduced by the United States government that has any significant price tag, I instantly balk. The only way we could afford to spend an extra dollar is if Congress cancels spending two dollars somewhere else. Even then, it would take a while to get the budget deficit turned around from its current untenable apex of a trillion dollars this year.

That one time out of a hundred must be something special, and peace in the Middle East is worth the consideration.

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner’s peace plan has been broken down into two parts: the economic and the political sides. We won’t see the political side until the fall, and that’s IF he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin can get buy-in on the economic front next week from several Middle Eastern nations, the EU, UN, and the IMF.

The White House released an outline for their “Peace to Prosperity” plan, a 95-page document that lays out the financial framework that will act as a starting point for Kushner’s presentation next week. Attendees will hammer out more details, and we can expect big changes. This is a populist and very western framework that includes many concepts unfamiliar in the Middle East other than in Israel, including online freedom, attracting outside technological assistance, and judicial independence.

It is intended to appeal to the people who can pressure hardline Palestinian leaders to take a look.

So far, reception has been negative from those on the Palestinian side who bothered to read it. It’s being called “ostensibly offering a carrot before the stick” since it’s being unveiled before the all-important political component is released.

Complaints notwithstanding, this is the right approach and Mnuchin is the right person to start negotiations. Unlike Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who will almost certainly present the political component when it’s released, Mnuchin has to sell the idea on its economic merits. If there’s one thing the Trump administration can demonstrably claim, it’s their prowess with getting an economy jumpstarted, as has been happening in the United States since he took office. This is why Mnuchin is the key at this stage. He’s a numbers guy who can make sense of the economic component to demonstrate why they believe it will double the GDP in the region in a decade.

But if this is a prelude to a full-blown two-state solution, it could be a non-starter either way. There aren’t many ways to split up land the size of New Jersey without putting Israel at greater risk than it already is. If the land given to the Palestinians is too small, such as giving them control of the Gaza Strip through promises of ejecting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, plus small areas on the West Bank, their side will object. If it’s too large, Israel will object. Finding the balance is a seemingly impossible task, which is why the $50 billion number must be made enticing enough to warrant discussions of the political angle.

It seems today that finding an agreeable peace plan is impossible, but it’s worth the effort. Hopes may be low, but there have been stranger things that have happened for Israel in the last seven decades. Maybe this is another miracle in the making.

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Economy

Stossel: Minimum wage hurts beginners

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Stossel Minimum wage hurts beginners

One of the greatest lies ever told in modern American politics is that raising the minimum wage will help more people than it hurts. There’s no doubt that some people will not lose hours from their increased wage, but many will. Some will lose their jobs altogether. And others will not be able to enter the workforce even though they could have with a lower minimum wage.

These truths are clear from the handful of experiments tried around the country in places like Seattle and New York. In fact, one of the biggest proponents of the $15 minimum wage, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was saddened when her former employer shut down despite being extremely popular. The reason: forced minimum wage hike.

In this video by John Stossel, he explores some of the drawbacks of a higher minimum wage. There are clear economic indicators that it’s a terrible idea, but leftist populism and surface-level economic policies are hard to counter.

Trying to force people to think critically is a challenge, but it’s one we must continue to undertake. As long as the left pushes ideas that seem good on the surface, they’ll get votes from the uninformed. It’s our job to inform them.

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Democrats

Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax won’t work

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Elizabeth Warrens wealth tax wont work

There’s a popular sentiment that’s present in many circles across America. The “rich” are the bad guys who plot against the common American to keep us down. In some cases, this is actually true; wealth has been used by many throughout history to buy favors, subvert prosperity for the economic middle- and lower-classes, and steer governments to do things that benefit them while hurting others. But corruption is much less of a driving force for the hatred towards the rich than envy. Few people would take the “moral high road” and turn down opportunities that would allow them to be rich. Just ask Bernie Sanders.

But this envy of the rich is manifesting into something much more dangerous than we’ve seen in the recent past. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a top contender for the Democratic nomination for president, has built her campaign around offering as much free stuff as possible and claiming that she’ll pay for it all through her wealth tax, which she currently proposes as 2% on any household with more than $50 million and 3% on any household worth more than a billion dollars. It’s a yearly tax that is designed to help her get elected. It isn’t designed to work, and either she knows this but hopes the people won’t see it, or she doesn’t realize it and she’s an idiot.

Wealth taxes have never worked. They hamper the ability of actual job-builders to build jobs. They also incentivize the rich to take their money elsewhere, which has a cascading effect on the economy when done in bulk. But perhaps most importantly is that the revenues projected to be generating from them never come to pass.

The saddest part is based on Warren’s own calculations of how much revenue she’ll generate compared to non-partisan estimates of how much her proposals will cost, it isn’t even close. We’re not talking about being off by millions, billions, or even trillions. If she gets her way, we’ll experience a budget shortfall of tens or even hundreds of trillions of dollars over a decade. This isn’t insignificant, but it may be part of the plan.

Who would plan for economic collapse? Someone who wants to install Modern Monetary Theory in America. That’s the only realistic conclusion that one can come to unless we’re to believe she’s a total liar. And that’s possible. She could be so eager to be a one-term president that she’s willing to make promises she knows are impossible to keep. But more likely, she’s going to try to keep those promises by taking us down a path in which we print money to pay our bills, leading to hyperinflation and the total collapse of the United States of America as a viable nation.

If that happens, she’ll have the ultimate form of socialism in which everyone is suffering equally. Well, everyone other than the elite.

This video by Reason breaks down other examples of hour Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax is either based on ignorance, deceit, or both. Her calculations are off by a few decimal points, but in a post-truth society, Democrats don’t care.

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Democrats

Rashida Tlaib says $15/hr minimum wage is too low. She wants $20/hr.

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Rashida Tlaib says 15hr minimum wage is too low She wants 20hr

There is nothing more progressive than taking something radical and destructive and doubling down on the spirit of the proposal. That’s what Representative Rashida Tlaib did today when she said the movement that’s pushing for $15 per hour nationwide may be behind on the times. $15 per hour is what whey needed before, but since the costs of milk and eggs have gone up, the new minimum wage should be $20 per hour.

It has already been established by the non-partisan CBO that $15 per hour would kill off 1.3 million jobs. While most Democrats balked at the number and said it was too high, the radical progressives saw it as an opportunity – there’s plenty of room to kill off even more jobs, from their reckoning.

Costs of many items are going up, but as the Washington Free Beacon pointed out, eggs and milk are actually lower than their peaks in 2015 and 2014, respectively, around the time when the “fight for $15” started ramping up. As usual, Tlaib is making things up to support her points.

The real minimum wage is zero, as anyone unemployed knows. But jobs have been rising across the board since the President took office. The economy is humming. In many industries, there is a shortage of workers able to fill positions, forcing many companies to raise wages organically. That’s how it should be. We don’t need Washington DC placing a blanket minimum on the country, especially considering the economic norms in West Virginia are very different from the economic norms in California. Leave it to the states to regulate the economies properly.

This is just further evidence that Rashida Tlaib and “The Squad” aren’t interested in helping America. They want to tear it down and rebuild it in the Justice Democrats’ image. This is no longer a secret, but it’s an under-reported fact.

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