Lowering Taxes is Moral

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President Trump has come out with his proposal regarding corporate taxes. He wants to lower it to 15% while closing all the loopholes. There will be a lot of discussion on both sides on the effectivity of this act. One side will say that it will generate new business and the other will say there is no use to it and it is a payoff to the rich. Neither side will discuss the morality of the act.

Lowering corporate taxes is the only moral choice in this scenario. As it stands right now our corporate taxes are 35-39%. It varies slightly depending on the actual state you are in. The amazing thing about this rate is that when you ask any politician whether they are from the right like Ted Cruz or from the left like Bernie Sanders they will all say the same thing. Corporations do not pay this as it is. They pay an average of 15% to 20%. Some corporations pay lower and some higher depending on how aggressively they are willing to exploit loopholes and the talent of their lawyers and accountants. There is a consensus that if corporation were to actually pay this tax rate which is the highest in the world they would leave or go under. We are in effect operating under laws we expect no one to follow.

Laws

Since I am discussing morality it will be useful to first discuss what a law is. A politician will give you one answer, a law student will give you another, and a layman will give you a third. The best description I have found comes from a thinker in the Qin dynasty. A law is a wish. It is the physical incarnation of the ideal society of the lawmaker. In simple terms if you make laws penalizing rape and murder it is because you do not want rape and murder in your society. If you make laws protecting dolphins it is because you want the environment and that animal protected. If you make laws attracting business it is because you want your people employed. The laws you make define the type of society to live in. If you make laws that you expect people to break then you get a society of lawbreakers.

Should be Followed

Ayn Rand got a lot of things wrong in her philosophy but one of the things she got absolutely correct is that the most evil thing you can do is to design laws so people have no choice but to break them. Once you do that you have turned your entire society into criminals and have control over them. Take the tax rate for example. If you have a group of moral companies who paid the 39% as mandated by law and another group of companies who cheated and paid only 15% the companies who made the moral choice would cease to exist. What is worse the officials tasked with enforcing the law would not care as no one expected the law to be followed anyway.

Once you have created your society of lawbreakers then all the power rests in the hands of those who enforce and make the laws as opposed to the citizens. Your success or failure does not depend on the skill of labor or management but on the grace of the officials who choose which laws they would like to enforce. After all the easiest way to actually kill your company would be to enforce the laws that are already there. You have basically institutionalized corruption.

The Moral Choice

Laws should be made with the expectation that they be followed. If you want companies to pay 40% tax then make then declare that they will pay 40% tax. If you want them to pay 100% tax then make a law that compels them to do it. If your system does anything else then it must be changed.

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They Want to Take Your Guns

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The second amendment is always a hot topic yet one of the most misunderstood. I have seen plenty of liberals and conservatives who do not fully understand the legal arguments surrounding the issue. For today I thought I would take a break from current events and give a brief explanation of them.

When conservative commentators say that liberals are trying to take away your guns people say they are hysterical but they are accurate. The second amendment reads ” A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The conservatives say that since a well regulated militia is necessary people should be allowed to bear arms. Whereas liberals say that you do not have the right to bear arms unless you are part of a well regulated militia. There is no middle ground. You either have the right or it is granted to you by the government and can be taken away at their pleasure.

In this particular argument the conservatives are correct.

Rights and Privileges 

Every single item on the Bill of Rights is something granted to you because you are an American citizen. There is an argument as to whether those rights are granted to anyone on American soil but that is a separate issue which I will not touch on today. Suffice it to say that you do not need to do anything to earn these rights. If the second amendment were to be interpreted the way liberals wanted it to be, then you would have to join a well regulated militia to have the right to keep and bear arms.

What do you call a right that you have to do something to attain? That is correct. It ceases to be a right and becomes a privilege instead. The ability to bear arms is now contingent on your decision to join a militia. If there is no militia at the time then you cannot bear arms. If you have a child it is similar to giving him an allowance. He does not have a right to it but may earn it by doing chores or by some other method.

It is called the Bill of Rights no Bill of Rights and Privileges.

Protection and Deregulation

As Senator Cruz said in his debate against Senator Sanders in healthcare the bill of rights enumerates your protections from the government. The government cannot infringe on your freedom of speech, they cannot require excessive bail, they cannot quarter soldiers in your house. If interpreted the way liberals insist on then this would be the only amendment that would impose regulations or things the government can do to you. Alternatively if this was read to be protections given to the members of the militia then this would be unique as this would be the only amendment in the bill of rights to give its protections to a very small subset of people as opposed to the entire population.

Historical Context

We should all keep in mind that the bill of rights were made right after the Revolutionary War. The fact that a majority of Americans at that time were armed helped greatly. The army could draft people that were already armed relieving them of some need to supply them and they could draft people who already had some idea of what to do with firearms. It was similar to the British in the past forcing all the peasants to practice with the longbow for one hour every Sunday. This directly contributed to great victories such as Agincourt. At that point in time America was not yet secure in its independence and another invasion by England was not out of the question.

Remedy

Liberals are wrong on their interpretation of the second amendment but they are not without remedy. If they truly believe that the amendment is no longer relevant then they can work to repeal it instead of using a shortcut and having the Supreme Court rule it out of existence.

Obama Wiretapped Trump

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The narrative is crumbling. At first our President said that the previous administration wiretapped him and had his campaign under surveillance and the media said it was impossible. Obama was too nice. Despite reporting from left wing sources like the New York Times about how the Trump campaign and its associates were listened to. Then we had Nunes who said the FBI incidentally collected information on the Trump campaign. We were told by the media that the benevolent FBI only had that because the Trump team was communicating with the Russians. The FISA warrants could never be used on American citizens despite the democrats complaining that the FBI had the senate under surveillance recently. Then we have Susan Rice outed as the person responsible for multiple requests to unmask General Flynn. The media could not even defend this one.

The Smoking Gun

We now have a new development. It is as close to a smoking gun we are going to get in this case.  It has been revealed that Carter Page, an adviser to the Trump campaign has been the subject of a FISA warrant. The FISA court is for all intents and purposes an entity that rubber stamps any requests made by the FBI. Fewer than one in ten thousand requests are denied by this court. Even with this absurdly loose standard the Obama administration had their initial two requests declined and had to cherry pick a different judge at a later date to get their requests thru. If Nixon had a tool like the FISA courts he would never have had to resort to burglars.

This is groundbreaking. The left insists that Trump associates could only have been picked up in incidental collection if they spoke to Russians under surveillance and any information would not have any political value. With this new development it means that any Trump associate who spoke with Carter, an American Citizen who was part of the campaign, would have been picked up. There is no question that information of political value would have been picked up. The FBI were literally listening to two members of the campaign speaking to each other how could they have not? It would be similar to Podesta, who had much stronger ties to Russia than Page, being listened too. All you would get is political information.

Now that we know the FBI had political information on the Trump campaign we also have to remember that Susan Rice did request multiple times for the unmasking of Trump associates and that President Obama himself relaxed the rules for the sharing of information between agencies. Obama staffers also admit they encouraged the information to be shared around the capital and the intelligence agencies themselves show that they have no problem leaking information. What else do we actually need?

Pardon Obama

This may be an unpopular opinion but we cannot jail our first African American President like a common thief. It would cause too much civil strife and we have to admit that Obama deserves the same consideration as President Nixon. It is time for all of us to call on President Trump to officially pardon former President Obama for all his misdeeds.

Ginsberg is Incapable and Should Resign

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As the title states Justice Ruth Ginsberg has proven herself to be legally incapable of fulfilling her duties and must resign or be impeached and be replaced by someone who is capable.

Precedent

In Hawaii v Trump the judge ruled that the statements made by President Trump during the campaign trail gave the intent of  a muslim ban to any executive order that his administration would make regarding an Islamic country. The judge explicitly said that the executive order was legal and valid and the only thing that implies bias onto it is the campaign statements. This implied bias is so strong that it survives subsequent attempts to change your position on the issue as Trump did moderate the muslim ban to a selective travel ban later on in the campaign. Similar lines of argument are also used in Washington v Trump and other cases related to the travel ban. This is not limited to Hawaii as well as the federal court decision in this case was applied to the entire country.

During the campaign Justice Ginsburg said some very harsh things about Trump as well. At one point she even said that she would leave the country if Trump got elected. She of course apologized for these public statements later on but according to the precedent set by Hawaii v Trump the damage had already been done. It would not matter how well-reasoned legal decisions she makes are, that would be irrelevant. The precedent as set by some of the most liberal courts in the country would mean that the motive for them would be bias against Trump. This would mean that legally Ginsberg would be incapable of providing a fair ruling against Trump, his associates, or even his supporters. The left should join us in asking for the resignation of Ginsberg as the law must apply equally to everyone.

Removal

The constitution does provide methods for removing Justices. It would be preferable if Ginsberg resigns but if she does not we can impeach her. The constitution states that justices hold their offices only during good behavior. This would include making decisions on cases based on their merit and not on the personalities involved. This should be enough to begin impeachment proceedings and get her removed. The bar for impeachment is of course a 2/3 vote in the senate. This would be daunting under normal circumstances but there are enough democratic senators who have publicly stated their support for the Hawaii v Trump ruling so should logically support this move or have to renounce their support for the original decision.

Judicial Tyranny II: Trump Must go to SC

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The 9th circuit declined to remove the TRO for two reasons. First they had due process considerations for the green card holders that were affected by the ban. Second the court used the precedent of the Lukumi case to look beyond the EO and declare that the intent was to disfavor Muslims. For this article I will be focusing exclusively on Lukumi and pointing out why Trump MUST go to the Supreme Court to have it overturned. First because an EO is either constitutional or its not so if the EO doesn’t clear either of these standards then it will be unconstitutional and second because the Trump administration already provided an exception to the Green Card holders and most of the people of that nature affected by the ban the courts just did not want to recognize it.

Lukumi

The Lukumi case was used as precedent to allow the courts to look beyond the four borders of the EO. The Church of Lukumi is a religious entity with some very particular beliefs. Without going into the details one of them happens to do with animal sacrifices. In 1987 the Hialeah city council passed a series of ordinances banning animal sacrifice. They then proceeded to make exceptions for Kosher butcheries and most other things that may fall under the ordinance.

The Supreme Court held that while the statute was fine on face value taking the exceptions into consideration, the recording of the council deliberations,  and various other details the EO was unconstitutional. They said that while the EO again was facially neutral the intent was to gerrymander it to target the Lukumi church.

Travel Ban

In the case of Trump v Washington the ninth circuit accepted the arguments of the plaintiffs that the various statements made by President Trump during the initial period of the campaign as well as a statement from Rudy were enough to declare that the legislative intent behind the EO was to target Muslims. They specifically used the precedent of Lukumi to allow them to look beyond the EO.

Contrast the facts of the Trump situation vs Lukumi. In Lukumi the law was crafted to specifically target the minority group. In the travel ban most muslims were left out and are not impacted in any way. Six of the seven countries have governments that barely function so it is hard to get data from them but according to worldwide census data 10% or less of the worldwide Muslim population live in these countries. In Lukumi the town council was consistent that animal sacrifices were anathema to their community values and this was reflected in the deliberations. President Trump started with a Muslim ban back in the primaries, modified it almost immediately to exclude citizens, it then underwent sever al more modifications to become the extreme vetting we have today.

Anyone can see that the standards of Lukumi has been greatly expanded to make the case for Trump. The main issue here is that Lukumi already presupposes a constitutionally sound EO, which in all honesty the travel ban is. The argument was to look beyond the ban for the legislative intent. This means that there is no possible way for Trump to change the EO to make it constitutional. The argument of intent will always be there and will always be used to declare it unconstitutional.

This has far deeper implications than just this one EO. Suppose there is a country whose populace just had a holiday where they all chanted death to America. Whose leadership was openly hostile to America and had a history as the very first entity to use suicide bombers. Since they are a Muslim majority this same argument could be used to declare it unconstitutional. You could even make the argument that this could extent to other things. Trade executive orders, foreign policy orders, anti-terrorism ones. This is a perfect example of why this is judicial overreach. With this one decision the courts have essentially taken away all the powers of the Executive regarding immigration.

TRO

Liberal lawyers will say I am wrong and this is merely a temporary restraining order so I am getting bent out of shape over nothing. I agree this is still a TRO. However anyone who is making this argument is naive and does not look at the practical effects. Any time President Trump makes a law regarding immigration then anybody can file a case and get a TRO on these grounds. Given the liberal interpretation of standing the ninth circuit uses it is possible to get it filed in the courts under their jurisdiction have a friendly judge issue a TRO and the ninth will then use the same argument to uphold the TRO.

There is no other recourse here. Trump has to go to the Supreme Court to get them to declare that these arguments are nonsense. I have no doubt they will do that as when you start getting legislative intent from the campaign trail then it opens up a wide door that changes the legal system forever. This must also be done for practical purposes. The left will keep filing these cases and there is nothing Trump can do to stop that. If Trump takes all these cases to the Supreme Court then the sheer number of victories you get will give you a campaign issue to mobilize your base in 2018 and 2020.

Democrats are Destroying the Legal System

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The democrats are making my head hurt. Initially we had a constitutional challenge to the travel ban. The legal argument for that was that the intent of the ban should be gotten not from the text of it nor from the statements of the government regarding the executive order but rather from statements made on the campaign trail and by a friend of the President. Now we have a constitutional challenge to the executive order requiring agencies to remove two regulations for every new one they put in place. The legal argument being that the order might remove a regulation that should stay in place. No mention of any specifics. The constitutional challenge is that the executive branch no longer has the right to repeal regulations that the executive branch itself put in place. This is not the end of it. There will be more nonsense coming up.

Crying Wolf

In an effort to oppose Trump democrats are manufacturing constitutional crisises that don’t exist. The legal arguments against the executive orders are so bad that under normal circumstances they would never have been made, with good reason as they go against every established practice in law. Yet because the Democrats are hell bent on opposing Trump no matter what the cases will go to the Supreme Court and they will be forced to decide on it.

There is a dirty secret to constitutional law that nobody wants to admit. I can make any argument I want against any statute or order I want and I will find a court that will agree with me on it. That is not a question. This is not limited to democrats either. There are liberal courts and there are conservative ones. It all depends on finding the right court. The ninth circuit for instance has 83% of its decisions in cases the Supreme Courts hears overturned. If they had that rate of accuracy in law school they would never have graduated.

The democrats have control over a significant portion of the media which means that they are able to portray these cases as legitimate no matter how stupid they actually are. It then puts the Supreme Court in a position where it either has to side with Trump giving the impression that it is caving to him or oppose him overturning every legal precedent out there which they will not do. Worse partisan hacks on the democratic side will be forced to create a dissent to agree with these views. Ginsberg will be forced to defend why the executive no longer has the right to repeal its own regulations and Sotomayor will defend why it is proper to ignore the statute and instead focus on public statements for statutory construction. Note that I am not saying partisan hacks on the right do not exist either. These dissents will now be part of jurisprudence and can be used by hacks on the right and the left in the future.

The public seeing these things will reach one of two conclusions. Either the democrats cry wolf all the time and should not be listened to or that the Supreme Court has no will to stand up to Trump and will just rubber stamp everything he does eroding trust in the court. When an actual legitimate constitutional crisis does come up Trump will be able to point to all these decisions as well and say that the issue of the day is just another nuisance lawsuit. Except at that point it will not be a nuisance suit and a valid legal question. Anyone has the right to challenge the constitutionality of the executive and legislative and it is a vital part of our checks and balances. Used incorrectly it weakens the very thing that we need.

Justice Gorsuch

When Gorsuch was first brought up I initially said I was ambivalent towards him. In another article I said that I did not vote for the Supreme Court and it was much more important to me that the other members in the Trump coalition who did vote for the Supreme Court pick were happy with the choice. I have now come to realize that we need Justice Gorsuch badly.

Gorsuch once wrote “American liberals have been addicted to the courtroom relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education, This overweening addiction to the courtroom as the place to debate social policy is bad for the country and bad for the judiciary.”

This is exactly the kind of attitude that we need right now. One of the justices needs to stand up to the left and tell them enough is enough.