Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Politics

Fleeing Blue America

Elections have consequences. It’s a shame that this exodus was not fully captured in the census. Once again, red state representation will be understated until the next census.

The company say Phoenix, Houston and Dallas were the top three cities welcoming new residents while New York City, Anaheim and San Diego in California saw the highest numbers of people leave.

 

The move away from the likes of New York was driven, in part, by an increased fear of living in densely populated cities amid the pandemic.

 

In addition to grappling COVID-19, New York City in particular has also struggled with escalating crime and homelessness in recent months.

 

Police say crime has spiked in Manhattan after hundreds of homeless were rehoused there because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

[…]

 

‘Northeastern states make up four out of the seven states with the most outbound moves, and none of them make the top eight for inbound moves. New York led the way, followed by New Jersey and Maryland. But California edged out Maryland for fourth place on the outbound list,’ the NAMS report concluded.

 

‘Pennsylvania and Michigan also made the list, and both states have made the top 10 fairly consistently for the past few years. Maryland has made the list for outbound moves since 2015, and it has ranked between second and fifth places. In 2020, it took fifth place.’

 

The moving company data showed that states that have much less densely populated areas were a big draw card for people looking to relocate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What to do with a surplus?

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s the gist:

As Democrats salivate over spending a projected tax surplus, the families paying for that surplus will also be having their budgets squeezed by raging inflation. It is a budgetary pincer that will squeeze the middle class at a time when the middle class is just recovering from a pandemic.

 

The decisions for the Legislature should be a very simple one. If the state collects more taxes than it planned to, then give it back to the people who paid it. They should not redistribute it to people who did not pay the taxes and they should not spend it on things that make politicians feel good about themselves.

 

Just give it back. It’s not yours.

“very good chance inflation will be more than transitory”

It’s coming.

JPMorgan Chase has been “effectively stockpiling” cash rather than using it to buy Treasuries or other investments because of the possibility higher inflation will force the Federal Reserve to boost interest rates, Dimon said Monday during a conference. The biggest U.S. bank by assets has positioned itself to benefit from rising interest rates, which will let it buy higher-yielding assets, he said.

 

“We have a lot of cash and capability and we’re going to be very patient, because I think you have a very good chance inflation will be more than transitory,” said Dimon, longtime JPMorgan CEO.

 

“If you look at our balance sheet, we have $500 billion in cash, we’ve actually been effectively stockpiling more and more cash waiting for opportunities to invest at higher rates,” Dimon said. “I do expect to see higher rates and more inflation, and we’re prepared for that.”

Biden Sets Back Russia Policy With Multiple Blunders

Ouch. When senior administration officials are walking back the President’s statements within minutes, it’s bad.

The White House clarified Sunday that President Joe Biden isn’t doing any ‘swaps’ of cyber criminals with Moscow – after Biden appeared to take at face value a proposal floated by Vladimir Putin to extradite any U.S. ransom hackers to Russia in exchange for sending any Russian hackers to the U.S.

 

Biden entertained an idea Putin floated in a TV interview that aired Sunday about extraditing ‘criminals’ who engaged in ransom hacking against either the U.S. or Russia when he was asked about it at a press conference.

 

[…]

 

Biden said he had been briefed on the idea in flight, and called it a potential sign of ‘progress’ – only to have his security advisor later note the U.S. already holds hackers to account.

 

[…]

The quick walk back was an illustration of the type of situation the White House may be trying to avoid by keeping Biden out of a joint press conference with Putin where the Russian former KGB officer might try to steer the event to his advantage.

 

Biden at the presser explained why he did not want to hold a side-by-side presser with the Russian strongman.

 

‘This is not a contest about who can do better in front of a press conference or try to embarrass each other,’ Biden said at the end of the G7 summit.

 

‘It’s about making myself very clear what the conditions are to get a better relationship with Russia. We are not looking for conflict. We are looking to resolve those actions which we think are inconsistent with international norms,’ he said.

Racism, even if well-intentioned, is still racism

Good. Let’s hope this racist policy dies for good.

A federal judge has halted Joe Biden‘s ‘unconstitutional’ $4 billion program to pay up to 120 percent of black, Hispanic, Asian or Native American farmers’ debt, after 12 white farmers sued claiming it discriminated against them.

 

Wisconsin Judge William Griesbach issued a temporary restraining order Thursday blocking the loan forgiveness program Biden put in place after saying he wanted to tackle longstanding inequalities for farmers of color.

 

Judge Griesbach said the plan failed to provide adequate examples of recent hardships imposed on farmers from minority backgrounds. He also claimed that in trying to end one type of discrimination, the program ended up creating another.

Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan set aside $4 billion to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for loan forgiveness for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

 

The money would be used to pay up to 120 percent of direct or guaranteed farm loan balances for black, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian American or Pacific Islander farmers.

GOP Perpetuates Government Land Grab

This program should have been ended years ago. We are allowing our government to borrow money to buy land to take it off the tax rolls to increase the tax burden on the taxpayers funding the purchases. It’s a boondoggle that riddled with the opportunity for graft and corruption. The government already owns too much land.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee on Thursday voted to extend Wisconsin‘s contentious land stewardship program for four years, rather than another decade as Democratic Gov. Tony Evers wanted.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Dane County School Closings

Huzzah, huzzah. Hopefully the overreaches of government during the pandemic will be pushed back by the courts and at the ballot box.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday sided with private school parents and students in striking down a Dane County order from last August that sought to close all schools to most students to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The 4-3 decision — with all four of the court’s conservatives in the majority — comes with the school year essentially over and as rising vaccination rates appear to have virus in abeyance. The court in September had also placed a temporary hold on the order, meaning religious schools were free to conduct in-person classes for almost the entire 2020-21 school year, as many did.

But the court’s decision could resonate if there’s a resurgence of a virus variant or a completely new pandemic in the future.

The order by Public Health Madison and Dane County barred schools from offering in-person instruction for grades 3 through 12 until the county met certain benchmarks showing the coronavirus is better contained. In effect, it would have applied almost exclusively to private schools because public schools in Dane County had already decided to start the year online for almost all students in almost every grade.

Texas to Defend Border

What a shame that Texas state taxpayers have to shoulder the burden of border defense for the rest of the country.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday he will soon unveil plans for the construction of a wall along the state’s shared border with Mexico as part of a slew of actions meant to address an ongoing immigration crisis.

 

“The ability to arrest will be enhanced by building border barriers. Some of these border barriers will be built immediately, and whenever anybody tries to modify, attempt, or get through any of these border barriers, that in itself is a crime for which they can be arrested,” Abbott said. “But, on top of that, I will announce next week the plan for the state of Texas to begin building the border wall.”

Omar Gonna Omar

What a vile person.

A dozen Jewish lawmakers called on Ilhan Omar to “clarify her words”, but the Minnesota representative slammed the group’s “tropes”.

This is not the first time that Ms Omar’s criticism of Israel put her at odds with members of her own party.

 

In 2019, she apologised for implying money was behind support for Israel.

 

On Monday, Ms Omar tweeted that “we have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban”.

“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” she wrote, including a video of her questioning Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during a committee hearing in the House of Representatives.

A City a Month

We have a medium city flooding illegally across the border every month.

Illegal border crossings have exploded by 674 per cent in a year, with 180,034 recorded in May – the fourth consecutive monthly rise.

 

Newly-released figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show the number of migrants rocketed by more than six-fold from the 23,237 who crossed from Mexico into the United States in May 2020.

 

Last year’s number was far lower than usual because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but this year’s figures still spell worrying news for Joe Biden, with 2021 on-track to record the highest number of illegal border crossings since 2006.

Spending a Windfall

Wow. Look at how this news story frames the issue:

It’s a windfall that sets up the legislature and governor for any number of spending options, in a landscape where both sides have rarely come to agreement in terms of spending.

So the “problem” is that the politicians may disagree on how to “spend” their “windfall.” That is billions of dollars that was taken from Wisconsinites. It is not a “windfall.” It is over-taxation. The only debate should be about which taxes to cut to bring tax collections in line with the minimum amount the government needs to operate.

Republicans increase school spending again

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.

The Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is continuing to draft the state budget. Last week they took up the topic of K-12 school funding. Despite the Republican majority voting to increase spending by $128 million, Governor Tony Evers labeled the increase “paltry” and “an insult” and threatened to veto the entire budget because of it in the same week that he announced his intent to seek re-election.

 

Every budget season we hear the same ridiculous rhetoric about how Republicans are cutting education and hurting kids despite unending budget increases. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards went so far as to say that proposed budget “will be devastating” to students. While such inflammatory adjectives are exciting for politicos, the facts do not support the hysteria.

 

According to data from the Department of Public Instruction and the published state budget documents, the proposed spending on K-12 education for the 2022-2023 school year is $1.4 billion more than it was in the 2015-2016 school year when Republicans controlled the legislative and executive branches. That is an increase of 26% over just four budgets.

 

On a per-pupil basis, the increases are even more stark. For years there has been a steady decline in student enrollment driven by demographic trends. In the 2015-2016 school year there were 867,137 public school students in Wisconsin. This year, there are 826,935 public school students. That is a decline of over 40,000 public school students, but taxpayer spending continues to climb. On a per-student basis, state funding of K-12 education has increased by 32% since the 2015-2016 school year.

 

Throughout that entire period where state taxpayer spending on K-12 education increased by 26% as enrollment was dropping, Republicans controlled both houses of the state Legislature. For the first two budgets, Wisconsin also had a Republican governor. The fact is that Republicans have lavished the taxpayers’ money on the government education at every opportunity. Even though Democrats always want to spend more, the Republicans have been anything but stingy with education funding.

 

Government schools are swimming in even more billions of taxpayer dollars this year as they collect multiple rounds of COVID19 relief money spewing out of Washington. Democrats are attempting to claim that Republicans are endangering federal money by not committing more state taxpayer money. They claimed the same thing about federal funds for unemployment payments. Just like the unemployment funding, the federal dollars will flood our schools whether we want it or not. Democrats in Washington and Madison are not going to disappoint one of their strongest constituencies – government teachers.

 

While spending continues to rise with no consideration for the decline in enrollment, what are taxpayers really getting for their largesse? Even before the pandemic, student performance from our government schools was mediocre and had been steadily eroding for years. The curriculum was being infused with left-wing ideology and the building spree was unending.

 

But the pandemic really demonstrated how little some of our government schools care for the students and their obligations to the public. When the pandemic first emerged, schools rightfully closed as everyone worked to understand the virus. Within months, however, it became clear that COVID-19 posed almost no risk at all for children. This fact became even clearer when many private schools, and a few government schools, opened their doors to educate kids again as early as last spring. Even now, after over 600,000 COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, only three people under 19 years old have died with COVID-19.

 

We learned how the virus spreads and who is at most risk, yet far too many government schools remained closed to in-person education while the education and mental health of children deteriorated. Even now, some government schools do not plan to fully open until the next school year and then plan to perpetuate fear with useless and outdated mitigation measures.

 

When parents and communities needed their government schools the most, far too many of them abandoned their duty. For that, both state and federal taxpayers are rewarding them with billions of additional dollars. It is well past time to rethink our support for government institutions that are failing to meet their duty to the public. To rephrase the oft-quoted Robert Goodloe Harper, “billions for education, but not one cent for tribute.”

Wisconsin Collects Taxes at Record Levels

There is absolutely no shortage of money in Madison. It’s time to scale back taxes to what government actually needs to function instead of just finding reasons to spend the “extra.” That isn’t a windfall for government. It is an excess of taxation.

The increase in general fund tax collections in 2021, particularly in the months of April and May, is unprecedented. Based upon the strength of collections and the vastly improved economic forecasts for the remainder of this year and the next two years, our analysis indicates that for the three-year period, aggregate general fund tax collections will be $4,427.4 million above those of the previous estimates ($1,447.9 million in 2020-21, $1,543.7 million in 2021-22, and $1,435.8 million in 2022-23).

2020-21 General Fund Condition Statement

Prior to this analysis, it was projected that the gross balance in the general fund at the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year would be $1,794.2 million. It is now estimated that the balance will be $2,610.3 million, an increase of $816.1 million. The 2020-21 general fund condition statement is shown in Table 1.

Republicans increase school spending again

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

According to data from the Department of Public Instruction and the published state budget documents, the proposed spending on K-12 education for the 2022-2023 school year is $1.4 billion more than it was in the 2015-2016 school year when Republicans controlled the legislative and executive branches. That is an increase of 26% over just four budgets.

 

On a per-pupil basis, the increases are even more stark. For years there has been a steady decline in student enrollment driven by demographic trends. In the 2015-2016 school year there were 867,137 public school students in Wisconsin. This year, there are 826,935 public school students. That is a decline of over 40,000 public school students, but taxpayer spending continues to climb. On a per-student basis, state funding of K-12 education has increased by 32% since the 2015-2016 school year.

 

Throughout that entire period where state taxpayer spending on K-12 education increased by 26% as enrollment was dropping, Republicans controlled both houses of the state Legislature. For the first two budgets, Wisconsin also had a Republican governor. The fact is that Republicans have lavished the taxpayers’ money on the government education at every opportunity. Even though Democrats always want to spend more, the Republicans have been anything but stingy with education funding.

Biden, Inc. is Good Business

Does anyone really think that this has ended now that Papa Biden is in the White House?

The hiring was revealed in 2019, but DailyMail.com can now reveal the extensive propaganda and persuasion campaign planned by Hunter for the Romanian criminal, all while Hunter’s father was Vice President.

 

Emails on Hunter’s abandoned laptop reveal how Joe Biden’s son and his colleagues leveraged their US government connections and plotted a propaganda campaign for the grafting Romanian tycoon.

 

The arrangement raises more questions about Hunter’s dodgy business deals that threatened to compromised his father  – the vice president.

 

[…]

 

Emails show Hunter’s colleagues, partners in law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, Christopher Boies and Michael Gottlieb, seeking to set up meetings with the US Ambassador to Romania, after discussing among themselves whether he would intervene in Popoviciu’s case.

 

Hunter brought in political heavyweight and family friend Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI, to use his US law enforcement contacts for Popoviciu’s advantage, and was offered a referral fee as a result.

 

Hunter and his colleagues also discussed a media campaign, including to major U.S. publication the Wall Street Journal, to support their client who was later found guilty of bribery.

“Endangering” Federal Money

This is not a problem.

A Republican lawmaker on the Legislature’s powerful budget-writing committee said the state would stay in compliance with federal guidelines, so as not to miss out on $1.5 billion in federal matching funds for education.

First, this is a good reminder that nothing is ever “free.” The federal money has demands that state taxpayers increase spending because it isn’t about COVID-19 relief. It is about increasing spending on a loyal Democratic constituency – government teachers.

Second, there is no way that the federal government doesn’t grant a waiver if necessary. Here’s how this plays out…

Step 1: Evers and Democrats beat up Republicans for a few weeks to get more K-12 spending in the budget.

Step 3: Irrespective of whether Republicans in the legislature increase spending or not, Evers calls Washington to make sure the money will flow.

Step 4: Biden’s administration sends money.

Step 5: Evers takes credit for “saving” billions in federal money and uses it as an “achievement” for his reelection campaign.

Republicans should hold their ground. There is no upside – politically or educationally – to spending more money on government schools.

“you can’t tell a kid they should feel shame because of the color of their skin.”

Good for Texas

Toth’s bill, which has passed in both chambers of the Texas Legislature and is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for signature into law, states that social studies and civics teachers are not allowed to discuss the concept that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” or the idea that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”

 

The bill also states that teachers cannot be compelled to talk about current events, and if they do, they must “give deference to both sides.” While supporters say this provision promotes objective teaching, critics counter that it limits honest conversation around the deep-rooted issues surrounding the history of race and racism in the U.S.

 

“The more people learn about critical race theory, whether Republican or Democrat, the more they oppose it,” said Toth, who noted that he is also a preacher, and said God led him to write this bill limiting the teaching of what he termed “an offshoot of critical theory and Marxism.”

 

Yet he also said his bill wouldn’t prevent a discussion about critical race theory, but would prevent teachers from endorsing what he sees as its conclusions.

 

“We’re not saying you can’t talk about critical race theory,” he added. “We’re saying you can’t tell a kid they should feel shame because of the color of their skin.”

Seven Nations Collude on Corporate Tax Rate

When big government and big tech agree on something, it’s generally bad or the rest of us. In any case, the chances of this actually being adhered to by every country is substantially indistinguishable from zero. The cartel only works until one member breaks ranks, and there is very little incentive for countries like Bermuda to sign on.

There was, however, a big compromise to get this across the line. A minimum corporation tax rate of 15% is rather low. Although European finance ministers succeeded in including the phrase “at least 15%”, which offers a path to get that number higher.

How much bite this change actually has will depend on the fine print of ongoing negotiations. Tech firms say they welcomed the move. Facebook vice president Nick Clegg said they recognised it could mean the company “paying more tax, and in different places”.

 

And then there is the question of the rest of the world. This now goes from the G7 to the wider G20 group, including China, Russia and Brazil, and then beyond.

 

The German finance minister told me that the likes of Ireland, with its low corporation tax rate, now needed to “get on the change”.

 

The Irish finance minister told me he accepted that change was coming, but he would continue to argue for legitimate tax competition.

A process has begun, a precedent has been set. It may or may not end up being transformative, but this moment is historic.

Variants

Two points. First, the glib over-made point that we can seem to name every variant after the location in which it originated but we are told that it is racist to identify the original virus by it’s origin.

Second, after the last year, the entire public health establishment and media has blown their credibility. This variant could be the next Black Death and 70% of America won’t believe it until the bodies are clogging the rivers. That is the price America will pay for the duplicitousness of quacks like Fauci.

A coronavirus variant that first cropped up in the nation of Nepal has been detected in the U.S, a health expert claims.

 

Known as Delta+K417N, the variant is said to combine mutations from the Indian and South African variants.

 

This means that, like the Indian variant, it is more transmissible and, like the South African variant, it is more evasive of COVID-19 vaccines.

Speaker Vos Suggests That Wisconsin Enforce Job Search Requirements for Unemployment

If you don’t show up for a scheduled interview, can it really be said that you are “looking for work?” No, it can’t. And no, the taxpayers should not be paying for people who refuse to make even the most minimal effort to be gainfully employed.

By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin should get tougher on unemployed people who apply for jobs to meet work search requirements but then skip out on the interview, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Wednesday.

 

[…]

 

Vos, the owner of a food packaging business, said during the pandemic that he was fearful he would go bankrupt. Now Vos said he’s also battling worker shortage problems and is offering gift cards to employees who show up to work on time five days a week.

 

Vos, in a back and forth with a business owner who described job applicants skipping out on interviews, questioned whether Wisconsin should do more to combat that.

 

“It seems like in Wisconsin we don’t do a very good job to report a no-show for an interview and doing something about it,” Vos said.

Republican legislative leaders, along with the state chamber of commerce, trade groups and local economic development groups, are advocating for the state Legislature to repeal a $300 unemployment supplement and other enhancement programs enacted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Archives

Categories

Pin It on Pinterest