Random Thoughts on Recent Happenings

© 2017 Steve Feinstein. All rights reserved.

No. 1—The Tax Bill

Buried away in a postage stamp-sized small parcel of this bill was the authorization to –finally!—open up the ANWR region for oil exploration. If you’ve paid attention to this issue over the last, oh, 30 years or so, I don’t have to explain that very tongue-in-cheek reference I made as to the size of the bill.

It’s not going to “ruin the environment.” The existing Alaskan Pipeline hasn’t disrupted your precious caribou nor has it besmirched the Alaskan countryside with all manner of nasty accidents. The irony is that we just may not really need ANWR’s oil at this point. When geological experts first predicted that the ANWR region like held a treasure-trove of billions of barrels of crude oil, fracking had not yet come of age. The world was still getting its oil the old-fashioned way: by drilling down for it, with conventional wells.

Fracking would come of age decades later, with horizontal as well as vertical drilling technology and the ability to drill several miles to reach the oil. Then, by injecting high-pressure water into the fissures of oil-soaked shale rock, the oil is released and able to be recovered. Not as easy and uncomplicated as those simple vertical wells in the Saudi desert, but we’ll take it. Shale fracking’s contribution to the world’s oil supply is directly responsible for the world-wide drop in oil prices that has made your gasoline $2.47/gal today, a far cry from the $4.08/gal you were paying in the pre-fracking days of 2008.

Tapping ANWR’s massive oil reserves will ensure American energy independence for decades to come—oil-based independence. It’s just that with the emergence of EVs like Tesla and the Chevy Bolt, gasoline (oil)-powered cars are on the decline. How long before oil-based transportation is no longer the dominant format? 20 years? 40 years? It’s coming, and fast, so ANWR looms as a less important piece of the American energy puzzle than seemed possible just 20 short years ago. Twenty years ago, no one could have predicted either fracking or EVs. That’s how fast things move.

No. 1a—The Tax Bill

All through its gestation, up to and including its no-Democrats passage, the bill was denounced by its political opponents with every tired, trite, incorrect reason that Democrats always use to criticize any Republican-sponsored tax-reduction bill: It will only benefit the ‘rich,’ the Republicans are doing this only to reward their fat-cat donors, the middle-class gets nothing, it’s a sham, etc., etc. We’ve heard it all before. The only thing more remarkable than the predictable inaccuracy of their criticism is the certainty that Democrats will gladly take the tax relief and pocket it to their own personal benefit. As they should. But wouldn’t we all be impressed to see some liberal business owner give back the 14% break they got from the Gov’t (from 35% down to 21%) on their corporate taxes? To quote every liberal when you back them into a logic-based corner from which there is no escape: “Well, that’s different…..”

No. 2—The Move to Recognize Jerusalem and Nikki Haley’s Shredding of the UN

U.S. Presidents from Clinton onwards have stated with unequivocal certainty that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and America will formally recognize that and move its embassy there. Except that no President, R or D, has had the nerve to actually do so. Don’t want to upset the Palestinians, since obviously the peace process is going so well, all the terror attacks against Israel have stopped and all the Arab/Palestinian organizations have decided to formally accept Israel’s right to exist.

So, Donald Trump announces that the U.S. will move its embassy to Jerusalem, in accordance with long-stated American policy. But because it’s Trump, the liberal media go wild with criticism and condemnation and American Jews—reflexively, incongruously liberal to the core—jump on the “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy let’s criticize Trump” bandwagon. Never mind that Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu applauded the move. American Jews are opposed, and to the liberal American media, that’s what counts.

The UN introduced a resolution denouncing Trump’s move and the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution, declaring our recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital to be “null and void.”

In response, Nikki Haley, our mince-no-words UN ambassador, said the U.S. will not forget who voted for the resolution. “We’ll be taking names and watching the votes.” The unmistakable implication, of course, was that since the U.S. alone provides over 20% of all UN funding and also props up the economies of dozens of countries around the world with our generous-to-a-fault foreign-aid programs, this aid should no longer be considered automatic in the future.

The American public is generally pretty annoyed by the one-sided way in which the UN takes advantage of America’s generosity and the way the UN has become little more than a self-congratulatory forum for anti-Israel, anti-capitalistic, pro-globalist, pro-socialist platforms. As an organization, the UN does essentially nothing to promote world peace, but it does spend a lot of time and effort promoting countries like Syria and Iran to seats on the Human Rights council.

Haley called them out. But because she’s from the Trump administration, 50% of the American public and 95% of the liberal media will criticize her statements—even though in the privacy of their own thoughts, virtually everyone agrees with her.

Comments

  • David Coffey

    American tax reform is well on the way. Now we need to find a few Republicans who will vote their consciences concerning the elimination of the carried tax welfare program that benefits the superfund owners. Count all of their earnings as income and tax them as anyone else gets taxed in that income bracket. I do not know what happened in the tax reform negotiations that caused that welfare program to continue. No special interest need be treated above any other interest, the best interest of American wealth.
    I AM pleased with the huge things (that most people would call small) that made it into the tax reform and jobs bill (ANWR, raising poorer families (especially single-parent families) out of poverty by allowing the people keep more of their hard-earned money. I AM very concerned that the tax break for schools who do not charge tuition was not included. I AM equally concerned that the provision giving tax breaks to families who do home schooling. The expenses that go with these two items need to be considered, not as needing welfare, but as receiving just compensation for removing the burden of teaching these children from the State’s (federal government’s State-run) education rolls.
    These are parts of the “sewer” that need to be cleaned out: the donor-forced decisions that are not to the benefit of WE THE PEOPLE: the carried interest welfare program, those who do not like institutions which do not charge tuition, those institutions who do not accept government programs, and those who are against home schooling.
    The more choices Citizens retain for themselves, the less Citizens need to depend upon the government, and, therefore, the less money the government needs to operate. Citizens in their communities know the needs of one another in their communities. The needs can be better met by those who are in the community than by a bureaucrat in Washington, D. C.
    Over the next seven years, I look for the Legislative Branch of our republican form of government to take the initiative to get our federal government more and more OUT or our lives, return more of the decision-making to the states or to the people (like welfare, education, health, and responsibility for keeping each of our environments healthy–spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical are the elements that make up our whole environments), the 10th Amendment to our Constitution, or just discontinue the waste, fraud, and abuse in so many of our government agencies. For example: young people being able to get rich from loopholes in the Social Security Program, agencies spending money at the end of the year that they do not need to spend for things that they do not need, the waste in the Pentagon and many other government agencies. Our representatives in the House need to oversee every government and quasi-government agency and keep them to strict frugal practices with the money that WE THE PEOPLE give to our government every year that it may operate well, but without overreach into our daily lives.
    I see these actions as very necessary to guard against an uncontrollable, ever-growing, ever-expanding government. As long as WE THE PEOPLE retain our responsibility to watch over our government at all levels, we can enjoy the Freedom, the Life, the Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness with which God has endowed us.
    Let us, each one of us Citizens, each one of us significant members of WE THE PEOPLE, keep our government under our control and never again allow our government to get large and unwieldy to the point that we cannot control it. We need to demand of our government the highly moral obedience necessary to support and defend our Constitution, and be quick to end any play to take away choices that we retain for ourselves.
    Let us get our government doing those things that it ought to be doing: protecting the land and WE THE PEOPLE of the United States of America from ALL enemies foreign and domestic. We need a federal government with a strong State Department, a mighty Defense Department, a fair Justice Department, a frugal Treasury Department, and a non-intrusive Commerce Department that does not try to control the movement of goods or services throughout our economy and throughout the rest of the nations, except for interstate and international commerce for the purpose of the defense of each state’s and of each business’ rights to trade with other businesses or peoples of other nations with whom we choose to trade. We need a Judicial Branch that is NOT political, but even-handed and obedient to the Constitution when it comes to making Constitutional decisions. We must see to it that our Judicial Branch is blind to personal, state, and political interests and to the way other nations do judicial business. Other nations do not use our Constitution, and we need not take example from the way they make decisions.
    As we are diligent to watch over our government, we will never feel threatened by it. Remember: “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is Liberty.” WISDOM!
    I AM faithfully David: beloved; Henry: head, leader; Coffey: of the victorious ones. Always Victory! Have a very blessed and Joy-full Christmas and a very successful and victorious 2018!