Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hillary's Hypocrisy

The latest imbroglio surrounding former First Lady,
former U.S. Senator, former Secretary of State and
Democrat nominee for the Presidency, has
Hillary Clinton centering on her plan to rid American
politics of big money and the shroud of secrecy.
There it is: the joke and the punch line all in one

Clinton recently announced that as President
she would have the federal government provide
matching funds for campaign donations below a
given dollar amount, as well as lower the cap on the
amount individuals can give to candidates, and mandate
independent groups to disclose their donors. Oh, and
she would push for rewriting the First Amendment
to allow more regulation of political speech.

Gee, your quizzical Peasant wonders how this would
affect the Clinton Foundation? Would the foundation begun
by Clinton and her husband even be included in the coverage
of her legislation? Now we know that their cozy little group
has happily accepted contributions from other countries
including Qatar --- while she was our nation's top diplomat,
no less. Moreover, this outfit raised money to hire
unofficial advisers such as Sidney Blumenthal and new
campaign aides such as Huma Abedin. Does anyone seriously
believe that the Clintons are going to, along with their
foundation, submit to these rules and regulations?
Hillary Clinton already has an ever-widening credibility gap
concerning many subjects, including Benghazi and her
e-mails. She is a liar like her husband, except that she lacks
Bill's smoothness and panache in the art of speaking the blarney.
And this is threatening to catch up with her in a big, nasty way,
with the election coming up in thirteen days.

The ongoing spectacle is not unlike a car wreck in the making;
you know it's coming, you know it will be horrible, yet you
feel you cannot avert your gaze.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wanted: A Good, Pro-Growth Tax Plan

A note to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump
and running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence:

Here is a tax plan worth closer study and certainly of
serious discussion: The Main Street Tax Plan, an idea
from the Hudson Institute, a conservative non-profit
think tank specializing in economic and foreign policy
issues. This tax plan would give a tax cut to nearly all
American taxpayers: $2,153 to a single person earning
$60,000; $2,020 to a couple earning $80,000; and $2,055
to a family of four earning $95,000. The middle-class
would be the plan's biggest beneficiaries, and would fare
twice as well as those in the lofty top 1% of earners.

The Hudson Institute's plan would expand the U.S.
economy by $2 trillion within ten years, according to
the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, which took a close look
at it. This tax cut would raise revenues by $679 billion
over ten years, and taxes on increased growth would
replace and exceed lost revenues in that time frame.

And that's not all: the Main Street Tax Plan would make
for 7% of increased GDP growth over ten years for every
$1 trillion in tax cuts. And the plan would do away with
the business tax deduction for interest paid, thereby
ending Uncle Sam's preference for debt-financing.
And the plan would streamline the tax code by cutting
back on the number of different federal taxes. This plan
would end the Medicare payroll tax and would fund
Medicare through general revenues. The $679 billion in
extra revenue would leave more money for Medicare
funding, not less.

Furthermore, the plan would maintain the deduction for
charitable donations and for the mortgage-interest donation
(for one home), while eliminating almost all other deductions
currently in force.

The Main Street Tax Plan concentrates on the typical Amer-
ican. There would be no ordained winners or losers.
So how about it, Misters Trump and Pence? Worth a look
to you? It is certainly worth a look to Americans fed up with
ever-escalating taxes and getting little or nothing for their tax


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Trying to Have It Both Ways

Your beloved Peasant saw this story headlining a recent copy
of USA Today: Well-heeled Democrat donors have to date
donated $134 million to help their party's presidential nominee
Hillary Clinton's campaign, a sum being 2 1/2 times that given
by Republicans to aid GOP nominee Donald Trump. The 'Pubs
have given $51 million thus far, and the reasons being many
Republicans with deep pockets are still not very keen on the
party's presidential hopeful, many of whom had supported
with votes and money other GOP candidates who unsuccessfully
vied for the party's presidential blessings. Moreover, these
big-boppin' Republicans have been instead donating to
down-ballot candidates on the ticket, from the senatorial
hopefuls to House candidates to gubernatorial contestants to
state legislature office seekers.

These folks think, and your observant Peasant isn't going to
dispute them, that Trump hasn't the temperament, the tact,
the command of the issues of the day, his sudden changes of
opinion regarding same, or the sufficiently thick skin to
withstand the barrage of attacks that he is presently facing,
and will face more of if elected, from the opposition.
I share these criticisms and concerns as well, but I maintain
that Donald Trump is not as awful a candidate and would not
be as awful a president as Clinton would be.

Meanwhile, former hedge fund manager and now a
radical environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer is frantically
busy raising money for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats'
candidates for the Senate. His own super PAC, NextGen
Climate Action, has been an indispensable tool in his efforts;
he donated over ten million dollars to his creation, and
over $20 million to other fundraising organizations raising
money for this and for sufficiently left-wing candidates.
Just yesterday Steyer announced a $2 million campaign with
the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and
Planned Parenthood Votes to reach out to approximately
200,000 voters in New Hampshire, a battleground state
which is featuring a fiercely contested battle for the U.S.
Senate seat currently held by first-term GOP incumbent Sen.
Kelly Ayotte. She is being challenged by the state's Democrat
Governor Maggie Hassan, a very far left-wing politician.
Steyer crowed "We are committed to doing everything in
our power to deliver (Trump) a resounding defeat on
November 8,". And this is just one limousine liberal donor!

Again, I hold the same concerns and worries about Donald
Trump as do the big GOP donors. But let's not kid ourselves,
Hillary Clinton is the bigger danger to our republic, to our
country, to our prosperity, to our liberty, and to our way of life.
If I were a cash-laden fellow I would write a check right now
to assist Trump by making sure he has the essential funds
to mount an effective and triumphant campaign against Hillary
Clinton and her fellow left-wing elites. As it is, your determined
Peasant is certainly going to mark my ballot on the day for
Donald Trump, even though I may need to hold my nose,
even if I need to bring incense, an air freshener, maybe a
gas mask, for the simple reason being that Trump is at least
pro-marketplace rather than pro-state, and we can get him to
lend an ear to us, whereas Clinton would give us a deaf ear
and the middle finger.

And as for the Dems raising all that cash for Clinton and their
party's entire ticket, keep in mind that this is the same bunch
that decried the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which upheld the right of
large organizations such as corporations and labor unions (yes,
labor unions!) to donate money to influence political campaigns
under the First Amendment, yet they have no compunction
regarding raising astronomical sums of money for the same
purpose. And of course they are getting lots of dollars from
both the unions and from corporations and fat cats like Steyer
to load their campaign war chests! In other words, they are
benefiting from the very ruling which they lambasted!

With each and every day that passes, the Democrats and the
Left demonstrate their unfitness to hold political power.
Between now and November, Republicans and conservatives
both in and out of the party, wealthy and not, have an opportunity
to level the playing field, so come November we can prevail.
Let us take advantage of this great gift while we can!


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Shimon Peres, R.I.P.

One of Israel's greatest political leaders,
a guiding figure to this nation since its
nationhood in 1948, a staunch ally to
the United States and the west, and always
in the midst of the action, Shimon Peres,
passed away September 28 after several
years of increasingly debilitating illness.
including two strokes, aged 93.

A protege' of David Ben-Gurion, Israel's
first head of state and a founding father,
Peres himself was Prime Minister on three
separate occasions, Foreign Minister as
many times, and president from 2007 until
2014. Peres was pivotal in building Israel's
defensive capabilities through helping to
establish Israel's electronics and aircraft
industries, as well as building his country's
nuclear arsenal. The leader of Israel's Labor
Party, Peres had no illusions of the dangers
posed by Israel's dangerous Arab neighbors.
Peres also revitalized Israel's economy in addition
to expanding and upgrading her defense
capability, as well as her economy.

A farmer and a shepherd in his younger days,
Peres rose to lofty heights as a political leader.
Statesman, warrior, then peace advocate, speaker
of several languages including Polish, Russian,
Hebrew, English and French, poet, songwriter,
an all-around renaissance man, Peres made his
mark not only upon Israel, but upon the Middle
East and the world. Principled yet pragmatic,
strong yet flexible, single-minded yet open to
new ideas, Shimon Peres was a great leader
for his people and an indefatigable ally of
the United States, he leaves a huge pair of
shoes to fill and a vast void in his part of the world.
Repose in comfort, sir. Enjoy your everlasting
reward after your yeoman's work. R.I.P.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Myth of Free Health Care

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, independent
(but caucuses with the Senate Democrats), who was
recently a candidate for the presidency,  met up with a
Swedish reporter who claimed that "(Swedes pay)
like next to nothing" for health care. I suppose the
Swede was trying to one-up socialist Sanders, who
is a big proponent of President Obama's Affordable
Health Care Plan (a/k/a Obamacare). As we know,
Obama's health care scheme is anything but affordable
for so many Americans who have already enrolled in
it; the premiums are astronomical, then there's the

But it was stated by a reader of The Wall Street Journal,
who related this event in a letter to the editor which the WSJ
published on June 17 of last year that the Swedes pay for
the upkeep of their system with a tax, which all Swedes must
pay. Additionally, there is a copay for every doctor's visit.
Therefore, this is not free health care. This, by the way, is
common knowledge to anyone who pays any attention to
this subject.

Your inquisitive Peasant mentions this wee bit of news only
because, as so many conservatives are convinced that Obama's
plan is the gateway to a system which would be similar to
Sweden's, or at least to that of Canada's single-payer program,
this could loom in our future if Obamacare is not
finally repealed. Sharing this view, I can state that we think
that the present system forced on us by Obama and the
Democrats was not meant to operate all that smoothly,
especially concerning the costs to be paid for the policies
along with the associated costs. Thus the Dems could, and
would, replace that system with a completely government-run
system, all in the name of guaranteeing controlled costs and
efficiency. Problem is, the efficiency would be not unlike
that of too many other programs administered by Uncle Sam
and the costs would still be steep --- our tax burdens would
bear that out.

Socialism isn't free; it's not even cheap!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thank You for Seven Fantastic Years!

My dear and wonderful readers, your grateful Peasant
wants to thank you for seven fantastic years together
here at this blog! From the day, September 23, 2009
when we first got together to examine and discuss
the news and issues facing us, we have covered much
and learned even more, enjoying the journey as we
went. And I am so thankful for your all coming along
for the ride!

You are the reason I write and publish "Peasant
With A Pitchfork". You gather round every week
to read my take on the political and economic
news of the day, giving the conservative perspective
in a way that speaks, I hope, to your concerns and
puts things in a way that sparks something in each of
you, to stir you to action by contacting your elected
representatives and the president, to gather your families,
friends and neighbors to discuss what to do about a
particular issue and its inherent challenges, or perhaps
even to run for elected office yourselves. And to have
some fun while we gather here at this blog site!

God bless you all, I treasure each and every one of you,
even though I haven't met most of you and may never!
And God bless America!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Maximum Rage Over the Minimum Wage

Although California Governor Jerry Brown is as staunch
a liberal Democrat as you are ever likely to find, he recently
balked at raising his state's minimum wage, already well
above the present national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour,
stating that it would "put a lot of poor people out of work".
However, he regained his ideological moorings, relearned his
ideological catechism, and signed into law a bill mandating
raising California's minimum wage to $15 per hour, the lofty
new wage floor to reach this mandated level by 2022.

Gov. Brown made a bargain with Democrat lawmakers and union
leaders to jack up the minimum wage in their state every year
for the next six years until the targeted wage is reached. California's
current minimum wage is $10 per hour, considerably above the
aforementioned current U.S. minimum wage, but the union chieftans
want to hike California's wage because --- dirty little secret --- the
unions' contracts all mandate that the workers in their rank-and-file
membership MUST be paid AT LEAST a certain percentage above
the prevailing minimum wage in the state where they work. The
more the workers are paid, the more the union can charge and extract
from them in union dues. This is standard practice with unions all
over the country, and it is of course why unions are big fans of the
minimum wage.

Ah, but here's the rub: Many California workers will become jobless.
Why? Employers will not pay more for in labor costs than they think
the labor is worth, governmental mandates be damned. So while they
will have to pay their employees at least the new minimum wage of
$15, the minimum wage law does not mandate that they have to keep,
let alone hire, more workers at that wage level. What will these firms
do? For starters, they can automate their workplaces. They will simply
acquire machines, or computers, or robotics to perform the tasks that
they used to hire people to do via their physical activity. Another tack
that employers can take is to cut their staff and parcel out the tasks that
their low-level workers used to perform to their remaining workers who
are up a step or two on the company rungs, increasing their workloads.
And the employers figure that even after increasing the wages of these
workers in exchange for assigning them more work, they will still save
on wages by not having the low-level workers that they used to employ
and having to pay them artificially-inflated wages, inflated by govern-
ment fiat.

The unemployment rates in various cities and regions of California are
presently at dire levels: Fresno's rate is currently 10.5%, Merced suffers
from a 12.6%  rate of joblessness. These are just two examples of that
state's troubling situation. And the legislation Gov. Brown signed into
law will only exacerbate these numbers and their accompanying pain,
while benefiting the union and Gov. Brown, along of course
with his fellow Democrats who have not just control but dominance
over both chambers of California's legislature, as these Dems all receive
most generous campaign donations from their union supporters.
And this law is being handed down at a time of great economic hard-
ship, much of it due to the caprices of the Democrat's Fearless Leader
in the White House.

The California Department of Finance had, in 2015, opposed a gradual,
more modest increase in the state's minimum wage to $13 per hour due
to "significant, unbudgeted costs." California would, for example, have
had to pay billions in higher wages for government workers, even
seasonal employees at parks. The CDF's analysis also found that the
minimum wage raise would make for slower job and income growth,
thus claiming considerable tax revenue. Unemployment benefits to
resultant displaced workers would have soared to $115 million by this
current year, and over a half-billion dollars by 2019 with the climbing

People and businesses have already been leaving California in droves
over the past few years thanks to the already towering minimum wage
there, along with astronomic taxes and entangling regulations. Texas
and Florida are favorite places of refuge for the departing beleaguered
Californians, as these states have fewer taxes, less regulation, and
lower minimum wage levels. But with Gov. Brown, the Democrat
legislators in Sacramento, and their union pals, it's Statism uber alles,
and anyone choosing to remain in California has to live and deal with

There is a lesson for the rest of the country here. Let us pray that it will
be learned and profited from.