Trump Effect vs. Democrat Rhetoric
by Political Editors: Back in early December, House Minority Leader Nancy Pulosi (D-CA) warned that the GOP’s tax bill would usher in catastrophe on a global scale. She literally declared, “It is the end of the world!… This is Armageddon!” We’re not sure what version of the Bible Pulosi has been reading, because the “Armageddon” that Republican tax reform has unleashed doesn’t look anything like “the end of the world.” Quite the contrary. As we noted the day the tax legislation was finalized, several companies began rewarding employees with large bonuses and increased hourly pay. And that trend has only continued.
American and Southwest Airlines announced Tuesday that they would be giving employees bonuses of $1,000 each. Southwest also stated that it would be ordering more jets from Boeing. Several banks have gotten on board the “Armageddon” train, with U.S. Bank announcing $1,000 bonuses for upwards of 60,000 employees and a hike to its minimum wage to $15 per hour. U.S. Bancorp president Andy Cecere said, “We believe that tax reform is positive for the U.S. economy because it provides an immediate opportunity to benefit our employees, our communities and our customers.”
And insurance company Aflac announced on Tuesday that it would increase its investment in its U.S. employees and operations by $250 million over the next three years. Aflac will increase its 401(k) match contribution to employees’ first 4% from 50% up to 100%. Aaon Inc. also announced $1,000 bonuses for all employees. And these companies represent just a fraction of the real positive effect the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has had on business and their employees. Here is a fuller list. Even The New York Times has acknowledged the Trump effect on the American economy, which tax reform is sure to accelerate.
But after nearly a decade of Americans suffering under a stagnant economy, minimal job growth and lower wages, Pulosi and her fellow Democrats are working to frame the Republican/Trump tax cuts as bad for the country? Because keeping more of your hard-earned money will lead to the “end of the world” or something? Please. The only ones for whom tax cuts may prove to be Armageddon are Democrats and their income redistribution schemes. Here in “flyover country,” the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a good thing for working class Americans, who are sure to experience its real financial benefits. Most people value real money over empty rhetoric.
~The Patriot Post
Marijuana: When the Rule of Law Goes to Pot by Michael Swartz: In the late 1930s, a film called “Reefer Madness” was released as a morality tale emphasizing the dangers of marijuana use. Since that era, and even when the film was used as a method of spoofing what advocates of legalization considered draconian laws and old-fashioned societal mores regarding pot, federal law has remained consistent in making it illegal, including for medical use. Even in Colorado and Washington where marijuana use is legal under state law, smoking it for any reason, medical or not, puts the user under a very slight risk of arrest and incarceration under federal statutes.
As marijuana laws have been liberalized and penalties reduced by local and state governments to a point where it’s no more of an issue than a speeding ticket, guidance from Barack liar-nObama’s Justice Department gave local prosecutors the option to maintain a “hands-off” approach despite the fact that marijuana laws were unchanged at the federal level.
Thursday, however, Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who’s been known as a hardliner on drug laws — sent out a memorandum to all United States attorneys rescinding the liar-nObama-era guidance. “Given the Department’s well-established general principles,” Sessions wrote, “previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately.”
Proponents of legalization fret that this open season for prosecutors will kill the nascent marijuana industry in the crib. Reason’s Scott Shackford argues, “Whether or not a marijuana grower ends up in the crosshairs of a prosecutor depends on that prosecutor’s own goals and discretion, not a consistent, predictable application of law.” While this is true, we’ve known for some time that enforcement of law is not consistent or predictable in our hyper-political nation — not that it should be an excuse, but the genie appears to be pretty far out of the bottle now despite the belief by some that we are still a nation of laws.
This call by Sessions also rekindled the idea that maybe it’s time for Congress to act and allow states to have their say. “The Founders did not write the Constitution to impose uniformity on hemp,” notes Charles C.W. Cooke in National Review.
Cooke’s colleague Jim Geraghty concurs, convinced that Sessions is taking on “an unnecessary fight” with his memo. “We can argue whether the country would be a better or worse place with more marijuana users,” Geraghty continues. But the case of Colorado would seem to be a contention for returning to a more restrictive regimen, or at least slowing down the march toward state legalization. Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia allow pot for at least medicinal use, with California the most recent to liberalize its laws.
Yet because we have no constitutional guidance on hemp (or any number of other things in which the federal government now asserts power), the state venue may be the proper place to have the argument. David French, also of National Review, makes a strong case for this by citing Colorado Senator Cory Gardner’s frustration with the Sessions memo. Gardner promises to hold up any Justice Department nominees until Sessions changes course and keeps a promise he made to the senator before his confirmation. Yet “Gardner is positioned exactly where he needs to be to reform America’s drug laws,” says French. “As a senator, he could introduce or co-sponsor legislation that explicitly decriminalizes marijuana at the federal level and leaves marijuana laws to the states. And there are multiple powerful arguments he could make in support of such a bill.” Instead, he’s blocking nominations — and he doesn’t even support legalization.
In reality, all Sessions did was shift policy to say that federal drug laws should be enforced, but it’s now largely up to the discretion of local U.S. attorneys. And the ones in Colorado announced they’ll make no effort to enforce the law.
In the end, it may be worth considering that “Reefer Madness” came out at a time when our nation’s moral compass still pointed more or less true north, but was allowing the expansion of the federal government at a rapid pace under FDR’s New Deal. We can’t agree that the compass is still pointing in the proper direction, but we can assert with confidence that this is an issue best left to the states, not the federal government — just as the Founders intended. Sessions is correct when he speaks of prosecutors managing the Justice Department’s “finite resources,” but he fails to advocate for how this issue can best be addressed. ~The Patriot Post