The Republican's proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the archetypical tax reform bill: it lowers taxes but increases the Code's complexity. High taxes are bad, but a complex tax code is worse. America deserves better.
Finally, complexity breeds corruption. The more complex the Tax Code, the more places there are to hide goodies for special interests and donors. For example, you can deduct up to $10,000 in taxable income for repairs to your whaling boat if you have one (and yes, whaling is mostly illegal). Likewise, men are allowed to deduct up to $14,500 in taxable income for surgical operations to make them look like women. Â Women can probably do the same in reverse, although it has not yet been litigated. Â Deductions like these would not be available if the Code were simpler.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a decent stab at tax reform, but if Congress is serious about reform, it must focus on simplification, not cuts.
Environment: If truth-in-advertising laws were properly enforced, any company that labeled a battery-powered car as "zero emissions" would be guilty of breaking the law. A new report, in fact, shows that electric cars can be worse than conventional cars when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. Full Story....Here
by DAVID FRENCH
If you follow the opioid crisis at all, it shouldn't surprise you that the overdose rate is higher among Americans with less education. After all, less-educated Americans tend to be poorer and often hold physically demanding jobs. They get injured, they obtain prescription painkillers, and they have fewer resources to combat the resulting addiction. Poor, less-educated Americans are more vulnerable to a host of maladies.
Of course addiction can strike anyone, but the data are overwhelming. Not every category of American is equally vulnerable. Though an intact family isn't a foolproof shield against hopelessness, despair, and addiction, it's still a shield. Do we want to combat the opioid crisis? If so, let's start in the home. Let's start with a mom and dad who love each other and stay together” through good times and bad. Let's start with a culture that celebrates marriage and a community that encourages fidelity. Let's treat addicts, yes, but let's not forget that while there's no way to inoculate any person against addiction, a life of faith, hope, and love is a good start. Full Story....Here
by HEATHER WILHELM
Superstition helps explain how people think about gun laws, declared an October headline at The Economist, adding that a large number of Republican voters indulge in magical thinking. Supporters of gun rights, the article continues, understand the world on the basis of feelings and gut instinct, not doctrine or empirical facts, even when confronted with them.
Well then. Lest we be accused of magical thinking when it comes to the Texas tragedy, let's look at the empirical facts. Here's a big one: In the case of the deaths of 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, the government, the same sprawling, bureaucratic behemoth that die-hard gun control advocates insist we trust with every element of our personal safety screwed up big time. Full Story....Here
by TOM COBURN
Last week President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public-health emergency, pledging to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction. Opioid addiction kills more Americans than AIDS and has taken a terrible toll on families in my state, Oklahoma. From 2007 to 2016, drug-related deaths there grew by nearly 70 percent, with two-thirds of them involving opioids. What pains me most as a physician is the knowledge that this epidemic is largely man-made, fueled by federal regulations linking pain management to Medicare reimbursement. That linkage encouraged many physicians to treat common aches ” such as lower-back pain with powerful opioids meant to blunt pain from serious diseases. Full Story....Here
We're used to anti-gun zealots shamelessly using national horrors to take political cheap shots, but following the Las Vegas massacre, they've hit a new low by blaming masculinity for the bloodshed that shocked our nation.
Anti-gun activists would like you to think that gun violence is a growing problem in the United States as alpha males flock to gun shows to buy weapons. But this is completely untrue. Gun violence has decreased almost equally with the increase in gun ownership. States with higher gun ownership don't have more murders. Not to mention, since 1993, the gun homicide rate has fallen by nearly 50 percent, despite recent increases in some urban areas. Full Story....Here