Sunday, October 30, 2016

Some Light in the Dark Tunnel of Presidential Candidates

This week, US Vigilance, in collaboration again with the Richard Nixon Foundation, gathered five bright California college students at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, CA for the 2nd Collegiate Forum.  The panel discussion “Which presidential candidate is better for the college graduate’s future” was moderated by Nick Roman, host of KPCC’s All Things Considered.  The audience had the pleasure of listening to calm, reasoned, and sometimes humorous political dialogue among panelists who had different views of the candidates.  What we witnessed was something that our presidential candidates for 2016 have yet to accomplish: reasoned political debate of substance on policy.

In the newly renovated Nixon Library, we were reminded of the serious dialogues that drove debates between candidates.  And we were reminded of the consequential policies that can be derived from presidents.  And the setting was only fitting, as the event was held in the replica of the East Wing in the White House.

It is embarrassing that out of 320 million people we have come to, essentially, the decision between what some have referred to as a clown or a criminal to lead our country. However, the five college students of the Forum give us pause for hope that the next election cycle could bring more people to make their voices heard.  That a majority of responsible citizens will produce better candidates than the vocal minorities who drive too much of our politics.  With smart individuals like these students who are our future, we hope they will usher in a much needed reform and bring a light into this very dark tunnel our country has ventured into.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

No More Americans

This election marks the end of Americans, and the rise of the “identity”.  Identity has no country affiliation and eviscerates the individual.  It prepares you to think and act as your identity dictates and is essentially – and dangerously - driven by one party and ideology.

Women, gays, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews and Catholics are all identified and demanded to vote Democratic.  The remaining white men are misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, racists and make-up the “deplorables”.  There is a vast “media indoctrination complex” to support this view that works in concert with the Democratic Party.

As morally evolved liberals, all are expected to tow-the-line on policies and preferences in the name of equality…because equality trumps liberty.  If one man has more than another, the man with more is taxed more.  If one is of religious conviction, the religious individual must yield their convictions in the name of equality.  Equality replaces the inalienable rights of liberty from the Creator with the pernicious and perverse interpretation of the political man.

The trail of the media indoctrination complex is chronicled with attention to the collusion between the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, the Hillary Clinton Campaign and Democratic Party in the staff article on Bill O’, Hacks Exposed…By Hacks (click here to view the article). 

The media, for example, is in a feeding frenzy regarding an 11 year old tape of Donald Trump.  There are those that consider his talk offensive, but this seems petty being contrasted with dealings by Clinton that exposes national security, criminal behavior and political cover-up at the highest levels of government.  These activities were barely addressed by the media indoctrination complex.

This brings us back to your identity.  You are now under the “requirement” to conform or be ostracized.  All polling discusses identity and the identity’s reaction to the circumstances presented.  Gone is the American individual . . . only group identity remains.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The 2nd Collegiate Forum: Which Candidate is better for the College Graduate?

In the Spring, US Vigilance worked in collaboration with the Nixon Foundation to put on the first Collegiate Forum.  A panel of five college students from California endeavored to discuss political correctness (PC) on college campuses and its effect on free speech.

Once again, we have brought another group of young, bright college students to the table to discuss which candidate is best for them in this rapidly approaching Presidential election.  The event will be held for a second time at the recently renovated Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA on Tuesday, October 25th at save the date!

You can view the previous Collegiate Forum below and visit the our website or the Nixon Foundation website to learn more and RSVP for the event.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

What Does Obama’s 3rd Term Look Like?

No matter the candidate that wins the Presidency, the future of government is going to look more or less like President Obama’s third term.  This is not good for freedom and free markets.  Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump crow about government as a source of solutions when, beyond a modicum of involvement, government is more a source of problems, ineffectiveness and waste.

The economy is burdened to the tune of $2 trillion in regulations and, with corporate tax rates at 35%, expect $2 trillion of corporate cash to remain off-shore.  Without a moderate reduction in both, we predict continued anemic growth of GDP under Trump or Clinton.  With this back-drop, what does the future look like in a Clinton and Trump presidency?

ObamaCare: Trump says he will repeal ObamaCare but with what?  The Republicans will offer an “ObamaCare Light” and the Democrats will have a single payer government option to eventually replace private health insurance companies.  Both alternatives are based on more government intrusion and take-over of healthcare.  Expect accelerated premium increases and more subsidies.

Taxes:  Here there is a difference.  Clinton will go full-tilt to raise income taxes, ObamaCare taxes, and capital-gain taxes.  Whereas Trump will try, and probably fail, to lower corporate taxes, but probably succeed at keeping capital-gain taxes unchanged.  Since each party behind each candidate wants a “revenue neutral” tax plan, the result will be just squeezing a balloon. Clinton can take a populous stand to “tax the rich” because she know that even when the individual tax rates were 90%, the rich were paying 15%-25%.  This is because the rich have lawyers, accountants and lobbyists who are in league with politicians willing to manipulate the tax code.  However, do note that the top 10% of income earners pay 70% of total federal taxes.  Accordingly, cries from the left of the rich not paying their “fair-share” are without merit.

Regulations:  These will continue to increase and be a drag on the economy.  The only difference is Trump and Republicans might have a smaller growth than Clinton and Democrats – but both will grow regulations.  For example, in the first six years of George W Bush and Obama, major regulations grew by $30 billion and $80 billion, respectively.

Existing Entitlements: Expect no major changes here as both parties are not going to make the material structural modifications needed to blunt the $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities.  The Democrats see the path to "fixing" entitlements as more entitlements.  The Republicans are all talk and no action about entitlement reform as they lack the political backbone it will take.

Deficit & Debt:  These will only grow dangerously larger.  As government increases so will the gap in taxes collected and expenditures.  This will continue for the next Presidential term, after which, expect a discussion to begin on a Value Added Tax (VAT) as a new source of taxes will be needed to plug the hemorrhaging expenses.  What is more, as the debt continues to swell and interest rates eventually climb, the amount of money needed to service the debt will also grow, thus feeding an out of control debt spiral.

Immigration: Clinton has already proclaimed she will do more than Obama, so expect more open borders, sanctuary cities, and executive orders.  Trump talks tough, but Republicans have no stomach for what Trump wants.  Republicans politically need immigration reform but it will look more Democratic than Republican.  As such, there is a chance for an immigration policy, which includes amnesty – though it will not be called that.

Trade:  Both candidates are protectionists so expect more tariffs and protectionism.

National Security:  Here the choice is bleak and bleaker.  Trump has no intellectual interest in foreign policy and Clinton has a record of failure (being on the wrong side of history in all she has done).  The best we can say about Trump is he has not screwed-up foreign affairs only because he has not tried to do it.  Whereas the best we can say about Clinton is . . . nothing.

Global Warming:  The charade continues as Obama, Clinton, Kerry and the minions on the left flail unproven claims of man-made global warming to increase taxes and government control over the economy.  Trump has no interest in climate change and will go where the political winds (pun intended) take him.  Expect Clinton to push the Obama agenda with its requisite damage to the economy, while Trump will largely be on the sideline and let the bureaucrats go un-checked.

Supreme Court:  With Clinton the Court will certainly turn sharply left and the Bill of Rights will be under assault.  Trump is a wild card.  It is uncertain if he is ready and can fight what will be a cage match - a battle to put Scalia like justices on the Court. This is the most dangerous area to freedom we face.  Clinton is a clear enemy, but Trump is an uncertain friend.

Executive Orders: Both candidates will try to expand the dangerous Obama course of going around Congress with executive orders.  Clinton will be more aggressive.

Much of the above depends on which party controls Congress.  If Democrats, expect an explosion in government, taxes and regulations as seen under Obama.  If Republicans, expect the same only smaller.

But, you ask, Republicans are for business, limited government, and reduced taxes?  However, this is more marketing than reality.  George W Bush and the Republicans gave us expanded entitlements (Medicare Part D), Wall Street bailouts, bank bailouts, auto industry bailouts, stimulus, a tax reduction that expired, and two wars that, at least, kept America from another terrorist attack on its shores.  Obama gave us a bigger entitlement of ObamaCare, bigger bank bailouts, bigger Wall Street bailouts, bigger car industry bailouts, bigger stimulus, a tax hike, and rushed out of two wars that gave rise to ISIS, put the Middle East in turmoil and brought terrorism to American soil.

As such, we conclude that we have had the two worst successive Presidents in Bush and Obama that have given unrestrained growth of government.  So, more than a 3rd Obama term, we are potentially staring at a fifth failed term of whoever is elected.  The reason we have the abysmal choices for President is because the people have put them there.  The only shred of light is that 57% of people surveyed say they will be voting against a candidate rather than 39% voting for a candidate.  This means that either candidate elected may be a one term President and people may be more vigilant next time to vote for, rather than against, a candidate.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

What the “Never Trump” Republicans Seem to be Missing

First, we emphasize, that we do not support Donald Trump nor are advocates for him.  Our purpose is to shine a corresponding light on Hillary Clinton as bright as that shown on Trump by the NeverTrump folk.  The NeverTrumpers, while having no love for Clinton, show almost a forgiveness of her record as they excoriate Trump.  They take solace in the “devil you know” in Clinton vs. the unknown that is Trump.

NeverTrump arguments can be distilled into two major thoughts:
  1. Trump is a narcissist
  2. Trump will irreparably damage the Republican Party 

These are not far-fetched thoughts but, as we shall reason, they are unjustly exaggerated and pale in comparison to the scrutiny of Clinton.

Brent Stephens wrote an elucidating article appearing in the Wall Street Journal Opinion Section on September 12th amusingly entitled “NeverTrump for Dummies”.  Stephens refers to himself as a conservative and argues largely that Trump is “anti-conservative, un-American, immoral and dangerous”.  But his analysis of Trump is erroneous at times and, at other times, unbalanced, weak and unsupported.

We can agree that Trump is not a conservative and admit his style at times gives a dangerous discomfort.  However, to categorically state he is un-American and immoral is unfounded and unsupported.  Stephens’ fundamental objection to Trump is “that he is unfit, as a person, to be president”.  Stephens continues by identifying that Trump has not released his tax returns, has had six business bankruptcies, been involved in some 4,000 lawsuits and “routinely shortchange suppliers or stiff his charities.”

Without arguing all that Stephens puts forth, we also need to examine the other side of the ledger with Clinton, which we assess as arguably more severe.  The Clintons have been described as a “Crime Family”.  Their foundation has been in a pay-for-play position while she was Secretary of State and, during this time, Clinton’s actions placed national security at risk in the process.  Trump may be a bore, but Clinton’s abuse of power for self-profit has put the nation at risk.

Further, while Trump is ignorant of the Constitution, Clinton is an enemy of the Constitution and will actively work against it.  She is also the nemesis of the most basic principles of a Republic and a democracy, namely, that of virtue and transparency, respectively.  Clinton has repeatedly proven herself corrupt and a lair.  While Trump may be “unfit” to be President, Clinton is disqualified from holding any public office.

Under Clinton, the Democratic Party is unified and continues its march to the left.  She has stated she will continue Obama’s policies and expand socialism by adopting portions of Bernie Sanders’ positions.  Accordingly, we can forecast with confidence, a Clinton administration for higher taxes and more regulations that, for the past seven years, have resulted in:
  • Stunted economic growth to under 2%,
  • Persistent high unemployment of over 9% (from the broader U-6 indicator),
  • The lowest workforce participation since the 1970s coupled with the highest welfare participation of over 100 million people, and
  • Crushing national debt approaching $20 trillion that is a ticking time-bomb.

While Trump also trumpets new entitlements and no structural changes in existing entitlement programs, he does offer at least the glimmer of hope with a nod toward lower taxes and regulations that are desperately needed to boost growth.  Only growth can cure our dreary economic malaise.  And whatever Trump may say about immigration and trade, he will need the approval of the Republicans and Congress.  It is here that, unlike Clinton, Trump will be corralled and moderated by his own Party.

But what of foreign affairs and national security?  Could his ego could get us into a war?  While Trump may be a lot of things, he did not create a large business by being a fool.  If he were in office, we surmise, the seriousness would be apparent vs. the clown act that we have witnessed on the campaign trail thus far.  Also, Trump isn’t the only Circus Master, remember Hillary barking like a dog?  Trump may be a narcissist that some compare to Hitler, but then the same adjective would be accurate to describe Barak Obama.  If narcissism is the trait for launching a nuclear war, then we would already have had such. 

Trump’s approach to foreign affairs is uncertain, but Clinton’s foreign and national security blunders are proven and have put the country at risk, given to the rise of ISIS, and generally destabilized the world. 

As Secretary of State, Clinton has a long record of failure: Libya, Syria, Russia, China, and Iran policies.  Then there is her crown jewel…Benghazi.  Clinton says she takes “full responsibility” – but what does that mean?  Four Americans died.  She ignored requests for more security before the attack, then, when the attack happened, she was absent. Then after the attack she prosecuted a full scale cover-up to lie about the cause of the attack.

She has potentially compromised national security by using a private email server then lied to the American people about why she did such.  She only came forward after she was caught, yet continues to lie about it even in the face of the FBI report to the contrary.  Her motives are clear – to shelter from public scrutiny her linkage and influence peddling with the Clinton Foundation while Secretary of State.  Further, at least one of these dealings resulted in transferring controlling interest of the nation’s uranium mines to a Russian controlled company.  Accordingly, Clinton’s record displays a pattern of reckless and self-serving wrong decisions.

It is reasonable to assess Trump as unqualified for lack of experience, but how many presidents came into office qualified?  Certainly, Trump is better prepared than Obama was, and Clinton’s “experience” shows her inept.  Would you want to hire a jockey with a 30 year losing record? 

Then there is the notion that the narcissist Trump will, like Hitler, consolidate power through executive action.  But how will Clinton be any different?  A Trump consolidation of power will be resisted by both parties and all media, whereas, a Clinton consolidation will find accommodation by the Democrats and the liberal media – as was the case with Obama.

Finally, there is the Supreme Court.  Clinton will only nominate liberal justices and liberal justices believe in the “Living” Constitution; i.e. one in which they interpret for “modern” times.  As such, only five justices will decide what “rights” you have.  We cover the path to tyranny a Living Constitution can inflict on our freedom in our book, Vigilance The Price of Liberty.  Liberal justices believe that:
  • Property rights should be few,
  • The right to bear arms is limited to a militia,
  • The conservative media should be restrained,
  • Free speech should be confined to politically correct speech, and
  • Freedom of religion should not interfere with politically correct public policy.  

We are only one justice away from a liberal majority on the Court.

Now, will Trump appoint conservative justices as he has proposed?  We just do not know.  But a liberal Supreme Court is certain with Clinton.

Trump is not a conservative, but Clinton is an enemy of all that so-called conservatives say they stand for.  Stephens defines a conservative as "A principled commitment to limited government, free markets, constitutional rights, equal opportunity, personal responsibility, e pluribus unum and Pax Americana”.  Setting aside the last two bits of an attempt at humor, Clinton is for expansive government, centrally controlled economy, evisceration of the Constitution, replacement of equal opportunity with equal outcome, and against the notion of personal responsibility.  While Trump is no friend of the Constitution, there is certainly some agreement between himself and conservatives on free markets, equal opportunity, and personal responsibility.

If conservatives believe that the Republican Party will be a check on Clinton, then we need only look at the weak-kneed push back they had on Obama and ask why they would do any different with Clinton?  Quite the contrary, the Republicans will most probably have more spine against Trump, as Republicans would do what they need to do for their election rather than remain loyal to the Party’s leader.

Clinton is committed to growing government, taxes, entitlements, and regulation.  All of which are taking their toll on the economy, society, prosperity and liberty.  As has been the case throughout history, when the government of a nation controls more and more, the nation becomes more and more impoverished.  The prosperity that springs from the growth created by free men and free markets dwindles to stagnation and is eventually reduced to rationing from the heavy hand of government regulations.

As JFK said “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”  Better we ask less from government as, beyond a limited boundary, the more it does the less we have in both prosperity and liberty.  NeverTrumpers should keep this in their thoughts when considering which candidate they would reject.