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Archive for July 2016

The Hillary Clinton tax plan

Certain commenters keep on insisting that the Democrat party is secretly using taxes to protect the richest of the rich and make it harder to become rich by only taxing income and not wealth.

The actual tax plan from Hillary shows how stupid this is. In fact, it’s an excellent tax plan designed to remove the unfairness from the current tax code. Most notably:

Clinton would also impose a minimum tax of 30 percent of AGI on filers with AGI greater than $1 million(i.e., the Buffett Rule). Taxes counted toward the new minimum tax requirement include: regular income taxes(after certain credits and including the Affordable Care Act surtax on net investment income), the alternative minimum tax (AMT), the 4 percent surcharge on AGI, and the employee portion of the payroll tax.4Taxpayers with AGI over $2 million would owe an additional tax on the difference between30 percent of AGI and the sum of those taxes. The tax payment phases in ratably between $1 and $2 million of AGI.

Because AGI includes capital gains and other investment income, it will ensure that the richest of the rich pay their fair share on investment income as well as so-called ordinary income.’

Clinton proposesto tax “carried interest” as ordinary income. Under current law, general partnersof an investment firm (e.g.,private equity) who receive a portion of their compensation as a share of the firm’s profits may report that portion as a long-term capital gain;thus they benefit from a lower income tax rate (23.8 percent)and avoid paying payroll taxes. Clintonwould tax carried interest income as ordinaryincome (top tax rate of 43.4 percent) and require the partner to pay self-employment taxes on the income.

Closes a major loophole there.

n tax year 2015, the basic exclusion for the estate tax is $5,450,000 (twice that for couples)and the top tax rate is 40 percent. Clinton proposes lowering the exclusion to $3.5 million for individuals and $7 million for married couples, with no adjustmentsf or inflation going forward, and raising the top rate to 45 percent. These changes would return the estate tax permanently to its 2009 parameters. Also, Clinton would establish an unindexed lifetime gift tax exemption of $1 million. The unindexed exemption levels will decline in real value over time meaning that more estates and gifts will become subject to tax. Clinton also proposes to require consistency between valuations for transfer (estate and gift) tax and income tax purposes, and to reform the rules that apply to grantor trusts.

Higher estate taxes, another tax aimed at wealth and not income.

The big political irony of our times is that the rich people most heavily affected by Hillary’s proposed tax increases will be heavily voting for her, which means they don’t consider higher taxes that big of a deal, at least not such a big deal that they would vote for a candidate that supports pro-life, guns, “denies” climate change, and is as low-class as Trump.

On the other hand, the middle-class and working-class white voters have been duped by Republican bigwigs, for so many decades they now take it as a core faith, that higher taxes on rich people somehow hurts them.

If only we could combine Hillary’s tax plan and Trump’s immigration plan and ability to say “radical Islamic terrorism” into a single candidate with the demeanor of Mitt Romney.

* * *

Really, it’s a very good tax plan. I believe that the only rate increase is 5% increase in the estate tax and 4% increase on incomes GREATER than $5 million (a segment of the population likely 80 to 90% voting for Clinton over Trump).

All other revenue raised from the tax plan comes from closing what might be called loopholes, various ways that individuals and corporations avoid paying the existing top rate.

The impact of the tax plan will be almost entirely born by the top 1%, who are voting for Clinton anyway and deserve the tax plan they voted for, even if Trump wins.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 29, 2016 at 7:18 AM

Posted in Politics, Taxes

Chandra Levy case still unsolved!!!

Talk about strange coincidences! For totally random reasons, I came across the two-and-a-half-month-old news story about Chandra Levy on Wednesday.

Then, on Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s office announces that charges are dropped against the illegal immigrant!

Citing “unforeseen developments” that they would not describe, prosecutors said Thursday that they were dropping charges against the man they had long accused of killing a young intern in a Washington park more than 15 years ago. The surprise decision means that the death of the intern, Chandra Levy, remains one of the nation’s most notorious unsolved crimes.

An undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, Ingmar Guandique, was convicted in 2010 of killing Ms. Levy in Rock Creek Park and sentenced to 60 years in prison. But he was granted a new trial last year after prosecutors acknowledged that they had withheld evidence that cast doubt on the credibility of their main witness.

On Thursday, the United States attorney’s office in Washington issued a brief statement that said in part: “Today, in the interests of justice and based on recent unforeseen developments that were investigated over the past week, the office moved to dismiss the case charging Ingmar Guandique with the May 2001 murder of Chandra Levy. The office has concluded that it can no longer prove the murder case against Mr. Guandique beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To all of the doubters in the comments who insisted that Mr. Guandique was guilty and this was just a Hail Mary by his attorneys, looks like you were wrong and I was right. As I wrote in a comment, “Condit was too much of a sleazy liar to be innocent. If he were a used car salesman instead of a Congressman, he’d be in prison for her murder.”

This is something I wrote back in 2009:

This blog post/article from 2001 explains the case against Gary Condit. Unexplained absences in his schedule and other suspicious behavior the week Chandra Levy was murdered, with no satisfactory explanations for any of it (what was he doing in Luray, Virginia?). Association with criminals and biker gangs. Perverted sexual appetites. Cheating on his wife with multiple sexual partners. Condit had a motive to kill (to keep his sexual behavior secret so he could get reelected), the sleaziness to make you think he might do such a horrible thing, and the association with criminals that would enable him to hire a hit man.

For these reasons, I’m not entirely convinced by the alleged confession of the Salvadoran illegal immigrant Ingmar Guandique to another prison inmate. Such jailhouse confessions are notoriously unreliable. (And part of the confession was that Gary Condit paid him $25,000 to kill her.)

It doesn’t seem likely to me that nineteen-year-old Guandique would go on a crime spree immediately after killing Chandra. Usually, after a first murder, the murderer gets scared and lays low for a while. But we are told that six days after the murder, Guandique burglarized his neighbor’s apartment, and seven days after that he assaulted another woman in Rock Creek Park. (See Washington Post article for timeline.)

This was something I was totally on top of all along. Why won’t people believe me?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 29, 2016 at 12:37 AM

Posted in Crime

DNC wrap-up

Katy Perry:

I love her!


Not a great speaker. She looked very uncomfortable, lacking in force.


Way too much grrlpower stuff, gloating in her sex’s victory over men. Lots of rambling about stuff that has nothing to do with anything important. Lots of talk about leftwing causes like global warming, gun control, minorities, LGBT, “immigration reform” (euphemism for amnesty and open borders). I don’t see how she gets any benefit from this speech.

As I predicted, a huge departure from Bill Clinton’s 1992 speech focusing on the economy and jobs, with lots of patriotism and Republican-sounding themes to appeal to middle-class white America.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 28, 2016 at 11:48 PM

Posted in Politics

Dramatic shift, Democrats now the party of the rich

When I first started posting that the rich supported Democrats and supported Obama in 2008, I got a lot of hostile and disbelieving comments.

But let’s move ahead eight years. Does anyone now doubt that Hillary Clinton is going to win the rich vote? She will certainly win the top 1% rich by a really huge margin, and probably the top 5% rich by a smaller margin.

The shift of the rich from the Republicans to the Democrats has been going on for decades. It accelerated in the 2012 election, and because of Trump will massively accelerate in this upcoming election.

But we still have the weirdness of Trump’s tax plan (the one on his website) supporting tax cuts for the rich, while Hillary presumably inherits Obama’s desire to raise taxes on those making more than $200,000/year.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 28, 2016 at 3:01 PM

Posted in Politics, Taxes, Wealth

DNC on Wednesday

Tim Kaine:

This guy is definitely a subpar pick for VP. Of course, not as bad as Sarah Palin or Geraldine Ferraro, nevertheless, this guy is pure beta-male and has no aura of gravitas. Voters want gravitas in a vice president. Dick Cheney had gravitas. Mike Pence has gravitas.

Kaine also frequently switched from English to Spanish, reminding all of the white working-class voters that the Democrats’ open-borders policies are turning the United States into another Mexico. Not a good way to reach out to undecided voters.

Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden:

They both spoke in the 9 to 10 hour, and they were the DNC’s best speakers as far as reaching out to undecided voters who are leaning towards Trump. But they were only two speakers, in contrast to the parade of women and minorities speaking to the leftmost wing of the party and turning off any white male (as well as many a white female) who happens to tune in.

Barrack Obama:

Obama’s speech (devoid of any Spanish) made the mainstream media news commentators gush like teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Never before have I seen such a display of partiality. However, Barrack Obama’s speech started at 11 and ended at a quarter to 12. I am sure they lost a large percentage of the audience by that time, especially on the east coast where people had to go to sleep in order to go to work the next morning. The DNC is supposed to be so much more organized than the RNC, yet they had their best speaker run so late. Huge screwup.

And even though Obama’s speech made grown men cry (CNN’s Van Jones said that delegates cried, but I’m not sure I believe him), he’s not the guy who’s running for office. How many votes does Hillary pick up because the guy who’s leaving office made a killer speech?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 28, 2016 at 10:14 AM

Posted in Politics

What’s a reasonable work/slack-off balance?

Commenter writes:

does anybody here work from home?

I just started my new work from home job on Monday. The thing is, when working in an office I don’t feel guilty about slacking off because I feel like what I’m actually getting paid for is to be present in the office, not to do work.

But when working from home, every minute I’m not actually being productive I feel like I am stealing.

What is a reasonable work/slack off balance for somebody who works from home? 50-50? 75-25? I don’t think I can do more than that.

I, personally, found it very difficult to get motivated to do any work while at home. Even in the office, I would only spend about half of the non-meeting time doing productive work. Which gave me time to blog, surf the web, etc.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 28, 2016 at 9:55 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Who really killed Chandra Levy?

New evidence (well this was in May, but first I heard about it) that Gary Condit killed her during rough bondage sex.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 27, 2016 at 8:55 PM

Posted in Politics

The emails in the news again

Trump: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

Mainstream media shilling for Hillary response: Oh my god, Trump is asking the commies to commit “ESPIONAGE.”

The emails were deleted. That means, if the Russians have them, then the espionage was committed in the past. So Trump is NOT asking the Russians to commit new espionage, he is asking them to come clean and share the results of espionage they committed in the past. If Putin and the KGB already know what’s in Hillary’s deleted emails, then why shouldn’t the American people?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 27, 2016 at 6:32 PM

Posted in Politics

I re-watched Bill Clinton’s 1992 convention speech

I re-watched Bill Clinton’s 1992 convention speech, and these are the notes I took:

  • expanding entreprneurial economy
  • hardworking Americans
  • forgotten middle-class
  • freedom, democracy, free enterprise
  • “now that we have changed the world it’s time to change America” [sounds like Trump’s America first]
  • 10 million out of work [nothing about their race or sex]
  • I want to lead America
  • I’ll fight to create high paying jobs
  • healthcare for every American
  • I love my mother
  • my wife is awesome “I love you” [he didn’t say “awesome”]
  • [criticizes the other side for using the term “values” and then says a lot of stuff aimed at Christians to let them know he shares their Christian values]
  • [praises] “hard work”
  • incomes are going down, taxes going up, healthcare education going through the roof, best people falling into poverty [but no one critized Bill for being “dark” or even negative]
  • I will use the power of the presidency to “help America” [a paraphrase]
  • wages have gone down under Reagan/Bush [but no one critized Bill for being “dark” or even negative]
  • “our country has fallen so far so fast” [but no one critized Bill for being “dark” or even negative]
  • when I am president, the rest of the world will respect us [sounds like Trump]
  • government debt out of control [sounds like a Republican; you can be sure Hillary won’t say anything about government debt]
  • “we can make our country the country it was mean to be” [sounds like Trump’s “make America great again” slogan]
  • “compete and win again in the global economy” [sounds like Trump who has often said “we don’t win anymore”]
  • I will put more police officers on the streets of American cities [opposite of what Democrats want today; note that middle-class white people love the idea of more policing]
  • I balanced 11 budgets [you won’t hear Hillary talk about balanced budgets]
  • break the stranglehold of lobbyists and special interests [you won’t hear Hillary talk about that]
  • wage war on drugs and crime [Trump talks a lot about crime also]
  • “jobs, education, healthcare”
  • “we will put our people first again” [sounds like Trump’s “America first”]
  • “there is not a program in government for every problem” [sounds like a Republican]
  • more choices in schools [sounds like a Republican]
  • leaner government [sounds like a Republican]
  • jobs must come from growth and free enterprise [sounds like a Republican]
  • quotes “scripture” [we will see if Hillary will quote the Bible in her speech]
  • give incentives for entrepreneurs [sounds like a Republican]
  • “American companies must act like American companies again, exporting products, not jobs” [sounds like what Trump says]
  • welfare should be a second chance, not a way of life [sounds like a Republican]
  • “America should have the world’s strongest defense, willing and ready to use force when necessary” [sounds like a Republican]
  • “one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all” [I doubt Hillary will say part of the pledge of allegiance]
  • “we can seize this moment, make it exciting and energizing and heroic to be American again” [sounds like Trump’s “make America greate again” slogan]
  • quotes “scripture” again
  • “America was the greatest nation in history” [contrast to the new left-wing slogan that “America was never great”]
  • about Chelsea: “God has given me a blessing”

I also noticed the complete absence of:

  • nothing about global warming
  • nothing about immigration
  • nothing about Hispanics and hardly anything about blacks

We see that this was a speech very much aimed at middle-class and working-class white Americans. Most of this speech could have come right out of the mouth of Mitt Romney or some other Republican, except that Bill Clinton did make a case for choice (with respect to abortion) and for “affordable healthcare” (which Republicans hate, hate hate). There is very little, if anything, in Bill Clinton’s speech to turn off a blue-collar white guy in the Midwest. Just the opposite, he’s mostly talking to their concerns, and even sprinkles in some Biblical quotes plus many other allusions designed to appeal to religious white Christian Americans.

If you want to know where Trump got the inspiration for his slogan “make America great again,” look no further than Bill Clinton’s speech! Although truth be told, it’s a platitude that’s similar sounding to a lot of political speeches of the past. It only demonstrates the stranglehold of the extreme left on the mainstream media that “make America great again” is now considered “fascist.”

I predict we will see a vastly different speech from Hillary, one focused on minorities and left-wing causes, with lots to turn off and alienate working-class whites. It will be a speech that you could never imagine coming from a Republican. That’s what I predict.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 27, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Posted in Politics

RNC vs DNC, so far

At the RNC, the establishment refused to unite around Trump. Kasich, Romney, McCain, the Bushes, all absent from the convention. And of course Cruz’s historic non-endorsement speech. But the actual delegates attending, and by extension Republican voters throughout America, did unite behind Trump.

We see the opposite at the DNC. The DNC establishment is 100% onboard with Hillary (who was their first choice all along). Even Bernie is 100% Hillary’s lapdog. But many actual delegates who supported Bernie are definitely NOT behind Hillary, despite Bernie’s surrender speech, and outside of the convention there are massive protests by Bernie supporters.

At the RNC, Trump masterfully pivoted away from or downplayed traditional Republican policies that narrow the Republican tent. There was very little about Obamacare and tax cuts, and absolutely nothing about abortion (except from some very minor speakers kept far out of prime time and from Ted Cruz). The core speakers (except for Pence) focused on the exact topics I advised Trump to focus on: Immigration, law and order, Islamic terrorism, Obama/Clinton’s failed foreign policy, and Hillary’s bad behavior like lying about the emails as well as Benghazi. These are all the topics that bring new prole white voters into the party, without scaring them away with rightwing Christian stuff. Not only was abortion absent, but there was a huge pivot to the center on “LGBT” with Peter Thiel being given a major speaking slot. Only Pence was off message a little bit (indicating that Pence doesn’t quite understand the Trump strategy).

The DNC, on the other hand, is doing nothing to try to win back the prole white voters who are defecting to Trump. The stage at the DNC is a parade of women and minorities talking about SJW causes. The DNC is talking to the most leftwing elements of the party and voters who will already be voting Democratic anyway, rather than pivoting to the center. Perhaps this mistake was made because DNC planners live in such a liberal echo chamber (between talking among themselves, the liberals in the mainstream media, and their other elite friends outside of politics) that they are completely unaware of how regular Americans think. The complete lack of American flags the first day was a telling mistake. The DNC simply forgot how much the prole whites love the American flag because they think so little of them and about them.

The only big advantage the Democrats have is that they have a lot of real celebrities supporting them, not just Scott Baio. And it’s a pretty big advantage not to be understated. Don’t underestimate how much low-information and low-IQ voters can be swayed by celebrity endorsements like that. It’s a major problem for Republicans.

But the big advantage Trump had is his family. Hillary already used Bill, who although gave a competent speech, he certainly didn’t hit it out of the ballpark of expectations. Everyone knows Bill is/was a great speaker. But Bill today lacks the energy of his speeches when he was younger, and he surely bored a lot of people with his long detailed history of everything political Hillary ever did, which no one cares about. Everyone already knows that Hillary was involved in politics her whole life. I think that Bill unperformed expectations. On the other hand, Donald, Jr., Eric and Ivanka all hit home runs for their father. I don’t expect Chelsea’s speech to do as much.

I predict that Hillary will NOT get as big of a bounce as Trump did from his convention.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 27, 2016 at 7:37 AM

Posted in Politics

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