by The Daily Signal | 3.27.18
Ken McIntyre, a 30-year veteran of national and local newspapers, serves as senior editor at The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation's Marilyn and Fred Guardabassi Fellow in Media and Public Policy Studies. Send an email to Ken.
Editor’s note: Here’s another smorgasbord of emails from The Daily Signal’s audience, reflecting your thoughts on tax cuts and other matters as 2017 came to a close. Enjoy, and don’t forget to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: The historic tax reform legislation draws a clear distinction between the governing matrixes guiding the two political parties in Congress (“Taxpayers Could See Benefits of GOP Tax Reform Bill as Early as February”).
Simply stated, the Democrats govern by onerous taxation (their “affordable” health care act), stressing that only the “state” can adequately spend the citizen’s money. The Republicans govern by free market license, stressing that the state has no business in the citizen’s pocketbook; the way citizens spend their money is their decision, and the consequences are to be borne by them.
The Democrats seek an obtrusive nanny state governed by elites who “know best” how to spend someone else’s money. In the wake of the passage of the historic tax reform, they are reliving the wounds they suffered when they thrust Obamacare upon the American taxpayer, increasing taxes in every imagined way.
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The Democrats are saying the defeat they suffered in 2010 will now befall the Republicans. But such a conclusion only exposes a delusional matrix of governing that believes that citizens love to be taxed, so if taxes are removed they will be enraged.
The huge difference between the way the Affordable Care Act became law along party lines and the way tax reform did is so simple: In the first, the Democrats crammed oppressive taxes down citizens’ throats, and in the second, the Republicans released citizens from oppressive taxes.
The blowback of the 2010 election cycle resulted because Americans angrily rejected the Democrats’ governing matrix. Once they realize the 2017 tax reform released them from the onerous bondage of elitism taxation, they will show genuine appreciation at the polls.—John L. Kachelman Jr., Searcy, Ark.
Dear Daily Signal: I will fight the GOP establishment every day for what they think is an adequate calculation of what our wimp of a House speaker, Paul Ryan, called “giving back to taxpayers their money.”
How can anyone with millions of dollars in wealth even keep a straight face when saying that giving back a family of four making $70,000 a year around $2,000 of their own money is great? Enough for each of them to purchase an extra happy meal a week.
I have been paying from 15 to 18 percent and never, ever have had one year since 1965 that I paid zero taxes.
That gets me on the topic of the 48 percent who don’t pay taxes each year. And yet I hear how, if you owe over $10,000 in taxes, so many fly-by-night companies can make a deal with the IRS to cut what you owe. If the IRS is making deals with these groups, they’re all stealing from those of us who pay taxes every year, plus penalties.
I was given a penalty of 11 percent. That alone gets my goat when we give enemy countries billions every year and politicians live the life of Riley. Under my rule, that would stop now.
Seniors having to include our Social Security in our income is double jeopardy. That’s like an insurance company saying that if you collect on the policy we have to take 15 percent back as a penalty.
Seniors getting Medicare and Social Security don’t think the word “entitlement” should be construed as the politicians keep using it, as if we don’t deserve it and it should be taken away from us. We didn’t mismanage the funds. We didn’t create the program. Get the drift?
President Trump has done more than any other president in history to guide us in a better direction, but the establishment politicians are still idiots and border on being crooks.—L. Michael Bessinger
Dear Daily Signal: Your two sets of charts reviewing the effects of the changes in taxes are excellent (“In Updated Charts, How These 7 Taxpayers’ Bills Will Change If Tax Reform Is Signed Into Law,” “In Updated Charts, What 8 Seniors’ Tax Bills Will Be With Tax Reform”). I am bombarded by liberals on every side whining about how much they will be harmed by changes that they have not even seen yet.—Anne Rose
Dear Daily Signal: The big question: Are leftists going to apply for all the new jobs President Trump is creating?—Robert Albanese
Dear Daily Signal: Why should we embrace tax cuts and tax reform? Because they will help our families and the businesses that employ us.
Republicans proposed to end the death tax, the alternative minimum tax, and the marriage penalty; they proposed to increase the child tax credit and double the standard deduction. They lowered taxes for small businesses and corporations, and allowed full “expensing” of new business investments. Historically, these kinds of tax cuts translate into hiring by companies of more workers and raising wages.
The changes simplify a complex, anti-growth tax code that serves special interests (through loopholes) and confiscates the earnings of hardworking Americans.
Republicans campaigned on pro-growth tax reform as a priority in 2016. Now they can pair tax reform with spending cuts to maximize economic growth.—Lucy Tscherne, Valley Forge Patriots
Editor’s note: This letter also was signed by Pennsylvania residents Linda Hertzog, West Chester Tea Party; Betty Dunkel-Hernon, Valley Forge Patriots; Lisa Esler, Delaware County Patriots; Jane Marie Toal, Citizens for Liberty; Donna Ellingsen, Elk Township Republican Committee; Linda Cleaver, Londonderry Township Republican Committee; Margaret Layden, Tredyffrin M-6 Republican Committee; Jane E. Brown, Landenberg; and Rita Misero, Coatesville.
Dear Daily Signal: I suggest you discuss with several economists whether we are living in a “Trump economy” (“4 Big Signs of a Trump Economic Recovery”). It has been stated often that the economy of the prior president carries forward at least one if not two years.
Both Trump and The Daily Signal talk like a president starts with a clean slate. Doesn’t work that way. Trump takes no responsibility for his actions that have negative consequences, and inflates the benefit of any action with agreeable results.
Conservatives allegedly recognize reality. That is not consistent with judgments The Daily Signal has made about Trump and his non-policies.—Dr. Jacob T. Chachkes
I thoroughly enjoy reading your updates and have tremendous confidence that the Trump administration is performing as advertised. However, the leftist media and Democrat talking heads will continue to sway the citizenry. Therefore, would it be possible to compile a list of the accomplishments of the administration?
Anything from regulation reduction to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court would, we hope, contribute to a considerable list that would be good ammunition in talking to others in our circle of friends and family.—Mike Stevens
We can take pride again that we have a president who represents the people who put him in office, much to the dismay of the sewer creatures of Congress.—William Wall
A New President at Heritage
As a fan of The Heritage Foundation who watched Genevieve Wood’s interview with its new president, I’m impressed with Kay Coles James’s resume and, most importantly, her library of common sense that, sadly, cannot be passed on (“Q&A: Meet Kay Coles James, the New Heritage Foundation President“).
Ms. James is an example of someone who should be a role model for our youth and adults alike. I appreciate the efforts of people like Ms. James and Ms. Wood in trying to keep citizens informed.—Brannen Edwards
I really enjoy receiving The Daily Signal. I’m a 60-year-old woman who grew up reading and being excited by the biographies of our nation’s founders. The Barack Obama years were truly depressing.
I feel like the world has been turned upside down and inside out regarding our nation’s values. I applaud The Heritage Foundation’s new president, Kay Coles James. She and your organization give me a glimmer of hope for our future.—Mona Hamel
I have had the blessing and privilege of being mentored and nurtured by Kay Coles James. Heritage and America are getting the best this nation has to offer. I am also proud that Heritage had the vision and courage to do the right thing by hiring the best person for the job.—Clarence Carter, Phoenix
Thank you, Heritage, for introducing me and so many others to this beautiful woman. It certainly seems Kay Coles James should and will be the “poster adult” for every disadvantaged child in this nation, and many around the world. To admire and emulate her will help so many of our young as her story gets wider review. May God continue to bless Ms. James and Heritage.—Mike Briggs
So pleased with the selection. A dedicated, decent woman and smart, too, who respects and has been part of the Heritage tradition for a long time. Onward!—Jean Smoot, Raleigh, N.C.
Concerning Paris Dennard’s tribute to Kay Coles James (“What I Learned From The Heritage Foundation’s New Leader”): President Trump should place this woman and the young conservatives she has mentored in charge of developing and implementing strategies to fulfill his promises to the black communities of this nation.
Nothing is more important to the success of the Republican Party than changing the hearts and minds by ridding black communities of the violence perpetrated by a few on the many decent families living there.
Improving security will bring businesses, which will bring jobs, which will bring higher wages. Safe schools will foster a better educational environment. Mobilizing members of the community who want more for themselves and their neighbors to participate in community action projects aimed at improving lives rather than fighting perceived oppression can lift entire communities.
Kay Coles James appears to be the sort of inspirational, action-oriented, solution-oriented person who can make a huge difference in the proper leadership position.—Chas Bassos
Paris Dennard paints a very positive Heritage Foundation future under the tutelage of Kay Coles James, a highly reasoned educator.
I’ll gladly embrace what she purports for black America as long as she embraces personal choice and equal rights, diminishes sameness, and acknowledges cultural preferences. I’m seriously interested in reading her take on income inequality and our nation’s diverse population.
Perhaps she’s the libertarian with a heart that Heritage very much needs. I wish her total success at Heritage. I’ll also look forward to future Daily Signal commentary with her guidance.—John Kominitsky, Los Osos, Calif.
Heritage is the source we look to for thoughtful and reasoned opinions on current issues in America (“Kay Coles James to Lead The Heritage Foundation as Next President”). We wish Ms. James all the best.—**Randy and Peggy Malcom, Limon, Colo. **
I have a question for Ms. James: What does being inclusive mean? The Dems are in the resist movement with very strange bedfellows. Is that what she means by inclusive?—Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh, New London, Conn.
Saw her on “Hannity” last night. Very impressive. Good luck to Ms. James.—Jo Ann Tackovich, Florida
Very happy to hear. I have always respected and admired her.—Sandy Groepel, Elizabethton, Tenn.
Heroism in Higher Education
Tell Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., to keep up the good work. His Hero Act, explained in the congressman’s commentary, is exactly what needs to happen to our broken higher education system that my kids are in the middle of (“Student Debt Is a Symptom of Our Broken Education System”).
We hold our noses every time we make a payment to these “institutions of higher education.” Institutions are what they are. They are not serving the needs of many of our students, society in general, and definitely not Florida families.
Our boys are talented, passionate young men who would benefit from an alternative to a four-year degree at our many Florida universities. One son finds college boring and even wrote a paper about it, suggesting many of the same things DeSantis did.
But they know they have to attend. Our university system needs to be turned on its head. What a waste of money.
Keep up the good work at The Daily Signal. Love you guys.—Caroline Ure
Books Under the Tree
Dear Daily Signal: Your list of books for Christmas gift-giving is comprehensive but, in my opinion, not complete (“29 Books That Would Make the Perfect Christmas Gift”). I would have added Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” George Orwell’s “1984,” Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” and Amity Shlaes’ “The Forgotten Man.”
I know three of the four are out of fashion, but each applies to the world as it exists today—and possibly the future.—Jack Watson, Ardmore, Ala.
I love lists of books with a few personal words to recommend them. This one is full of books I will put on my to-read list. Thanks!—Nancy Arey
Thank you for the list of books. I bought two for me and one for my daughter.—Peter Anderson, New Braunfels, Texas
I want all of these books, but No. 1 is the Antonin Scalia book. Will get this tomorrow for a present to myself. He’s my legal hero.—Virginia Murrell, Rancho Murieta, Calif.
What compendium would be complete without the ever-contemporary Heritage Guide to the Constitution?—Derek Dubasik
This and That
I wish Kelsey Harkness’s video report on Colorado baker Jack Phillips could air on the television networks (“Justice Kennedy: Colorado ‘Neither Been Tolerant nor Respectful’ of Jack Phillips’ Beliefs”). People need to understand this side of the story: This man, this bakery, is about every American.
This story is about the domination of an ideology from the left that seeks to enslave free people—to enslave we, the American people. Let us pray for the defense of the freedoms that self-sacrificing men and women fought and died for.
I thank The Daily Signal and Mr. Phillips for right reason, simplicity, and courage. I thank him for standing up, and paying a terrible price, for truth, beauty, and goodness in all things large and small.—Catherine Anderson
Great interview of Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, by Rob Bluey (“Q&A: FCC Chairman Explains Why He’s Ending Obama’s ‘Heavy-Handed Internet Regulations’”).
So good to hear someone talk about getting the government out of the way and letting U.S. companies innovate. Yet another part of President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign promises.—Dale Athanas, Clinton, Conn.
I wish entertainers of all persuasions would exercise restraint, as Taylor Swift does, when delving into the political arena (“Problematic Women: Taylor Swift Isn’t Political Enough for Marie Claire”). Most don’t pursue the moral high ground and are way too enthusiastic about their personal lives. Of which I’d be better off not knowing.
And with limited knowledge of the Constitution and economic prosperity (capitalism), they’re not very reliable for advice. Ms. Swift is smart, wealthy, and wise beyond her years. I hope she remains so.—Brannen Edwards
Concerning the commentary by Robert Moffit and Ed Haislmaier (“Who Wouldn’t Have Coverage If the Obamacare Mandate Is Repealed”), the real reason why the left and liberals love communism is because under it the power holders and politicians have absolute power over the little people. Whom they may kill at will. Mao and Stalin were depopulation machines.—Tom Lilac
I can’t help but compare today’s spiraling accusations of “sexual misconduct” by women against so many high-profile men as being another Salem witch hunt. Men are losing their jobs and being ostracized with no evidence put forth by the women.
There are no videos, there are no signed statements, there are no still pictures, yet everyone it seems believes that these men are guilty. What has happened to innocent until proven guilty?—Elna Bjelland-Hughes
Probably one of the biggest actions President Trump has not taken is repeal of the “Johnson Amendment” that threatens churches’ tax-exempt status if they support political candidates.
True, Trump issued an executive order, but since then he has dropped the subject. The next president, if liberal, will just as quickly rescind the executive order. And there is nothing to say that “infractions” made by churches during Trump’s term will not be prosecuted.—Paul Kellner
Is it fairly common that a Republican president’s judicial nominees struggle with questions at Senate confirmation hearings because the Democrats are zealous to destroy any Republican nominee? So do the Democrats question progressive and liberal candidates like this?—Dave Covert
How Are We Doing?
Dear Daily Signal: I want to take a moment just to thank you very much for your excellent publication. Reading your articles both inspires and gives me hope while mentally floundering in the sea of “fake news,” as it were.
Us folks out in the real world already instinctively understand that President Trump is doing a great job, but when you are constantly bombarded with opposing opinions and “facts” to the contrary, it becomes quite disheartening and difficult to discern the truth, to say the least.
Our resolve to stand with the president is mortared with the good, true knowledge that you bring us every day. Your news is like a lifeline of solid information that we can count on in these troubling times. Please keep up the good work, and may God bless.—Jerry C. Reich
As a conservative, I am constantly looking for coverage of national, political, and international news that is unbiased, but more importantly accurate. I can abide honest mistakes, but “gotcha” journalism is a huge turnoff. I refuse to watch cable news such as CNN and MSNBC as well as ABC, NBC, and CBS. I do watch Fox’s Bret Baier and think quite highly of him as a professional.
I look forward to The Daily Signal’s continuing the “not fake news” coverage I already expect. I will be enjoying Fred Lucas’s great articles in the future.—Joseph Bochichio
Why do you have to interrupt the text of your fine articles with huge color photos so that it is very complicated to print an article without wasting paper and ink on big photos?—Ralph Blair
Gratitude. Thanks for all you do. Bye, B.S.—William Sharpe, Arizona
Some good articles, but too predictably one-sided and selective. The piece on Roy Moore’s loss is pretty balanced. But how about some other views on the benefits (or not) of corporate tax cuts? What are the lessons from President Reagan’s argument that trickle-down aids workers?—Jameson W. Doig
It would be difficult to stay informed about conservative issues without The Daily Signal.—Bill Parker Headland
Please put “like/share” buttons at the end of your articles. I hate having to scroll back to the top after reading an article, and I am not one to “like” or “share” an article without reading it first. I will not do so just because of who the author or source may be.—Craig Brueckman
I enjoy your publication. It’s nice to read things I can enjoy and agree with.—Fred Riley
Stop referring to illegal aliens as “immigrants.” Those illegally in the USA are thieves. They have stolen the privilege of being able to live in the USA. Call them thieves.—Doug Wilkerson
Illustrations in your tax charts are disappointing in that only “Mr. Jones” is wearing a tie.—J. Tilford
Compliments. You are doing a great job. Keep up the fine reporting.—Buddy Hutchins
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