Stephen Moore

Opinion/Analysis: Here’s why the Trump administration shouldn’t re-regulate the rail industry

Federal regulators are investigating a new plan to re-regulate America’s freight railroads and the $200 billion of goods and products it hauls across the country each year. It’s a terrible idea that collides squarely with Donald Trump’s efforts to make industries more efficient by eliminating costly and senseless rules. But will the Trump White House tell the Surface Transportation Board, which has oversight over the nation’s network of freight railroads, to cease and desist? To understand why this is misguided we have to shift into reverse back to the bad old days of the 1960s and 1970s, when almost all modes of transportation operated under the stranglehold of Soviet-style price regulation. These rules nearly bankrupted the freight railroads, and a government takeover of the industry seemed inevitable. Instead, in the late 1970s and 1980s, Congress acted to lift the price controls on the airlines, the shippers and the railroads and allow the market to set shipping rates. The Staggers Rail Act deregulated prices and saved the dying freight trains, although it led to dramatic consolidation. Remarkably, these laws were even initiated by liberals such as the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and economists in the Carter administration. (Yes, Jimmy Carter got something right.) The Reagan administration accelerated the process. Today, nearly everyone agrees that the deregulation movement in the transportation sector was an unqualified success. Airline deregulation cut airfares for passengers by 50 percent, 60 percent and in some cases, 90 percent. According to a 2000 study by the Surface Transportation Board, “rail economic regulatory reform resulted in significant economic efficiency benefits, most notably rapid productivity growth, that enabled railroads to become financially stronger while lowering average rate levels.” Thomas Gale Moore of the Hoover Institution found that for rail customers, “freight rates fell by 45 percent,” and even though the industry consolidated, it has remained “intensely competitive.” Intensely competitive is an excellent way to describe today’s freight industry — including the transport of everything from Amazon deliveries to oil and gas from the wells to the service stations to crops, lumber, steel and semiconductors. Consumers and producers greatly benefit from our world-class delivery of products. Rail competes with ships, truckers, airlines, pipelines and now drones. That isn’t to say there aren’t some stranded producers who can face monopolistic pricing, but in 2020, that is rare. So, it is puzzling that in a Sept. 12 announcement, the Surface Transportation Board sought feedback on a plan to apply “a rate increase (price) constraint … to long-term revenue-adequate carriers.” A recent report from the Surface Transportation Board’s Rate Reform Task Force suggests that it “create separate rate standards for revenue-adequate and non-revenue-adequate railroads,” according to Supply Chain Dive. It is a backdoor plan to bring back price controls of yesteryear. It would do so through an antiquated provision of the Staggers Rail Act known as “revenue adequacy,” which mandates a bottom-floor level of revenue for the industry. It was meant to ensure the survival of the railroads. The board now would turn that provision on its head and define “adequacy” criteria as an excuse to impose not a floor on prices but a revenue ceiling. Kennedy must be rolling over in his grave. Under this scheme, once rail shippers reach a specific revenue target, the government could deem them as having “adequate” — i.e., enough — funds and arbitrarily cap the rates on additional products they ship. It is similar to the government telling a diner owner, “Once you sell your 500th hamburger, you can’t make a profit on the next 200 that people buy.” The problem, of course, is that regulators lack the knowledge and foresight to know what “adequate” revenue is. Rail shippers’ profits and operating costs fluctuate year over year and can ebb and flow with the health of the overall economy. Also, because this is designed to limit rail profits, economists at the Phoenix Center found that a revenue ceiling would significantly reduce railroad investment at a time when we should be incentivizing more, especially in automation. Such a command-and-control pricing model characterizes regulated industries such as water and electricity. This has been an enormous failure that shields consumers from the benefits of competition, such as more innovation, better prices and more options. It also flies in the face of the economic revival strategy of the Trump administration, which is to deregulate industries aggressively and let markets clear, to the benefit of consumers. Some at the transportation board think Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is president. Back in the late 1970s, when the airlines were deregulated, then-chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board Alfred Kahn, also known as the “father of airline deregulation,” shut the agency down after airlines were allowed to set their prices. It was a clever way to ensure that the regulations would never come back. The Trump administration may want to do the same with the transportation board, which is now trying to justify its existence by bringing back the 1970s regulatory structures. We suspect that some of the shipping industry’s customers may be behind the call for price controls to squeeze lower prices out of the rail industry. Arguably, Trump’s most significant legacy is ending President Barack Obama’s war on business by allowing firms to achieve more substantial rewards for becoming more efficient. The rail industry is doing just that and should be celebrated, not punished, for its economic progress and its return to profitability.

Agreed, and well said, Stephen. Stephen Moore is responsible for that excellent piece.  He is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the American Economy.”


Moore: Hillary’s worst ideas on the economy – These could hurt employment, growth and the stock market

The latest spin out of Washington is that stock market declines over the last 10 days are due to Donald Trump’s surge in the polls. Well it is true that Wall Street tends to hate change — even when it’s positive. And if Donald Trump is anything, it is a change agent that will rattle the cages in Washington, and perhaps on Wall Street. Investors didn’t respond at all well to President Reagan until his policies were put in place, the economy rocketed forward, and only then did the greatest bull market expansion in American history get launched in 1982. Something else is getting missed here. The Hillary Clinton agenda on the economy and the financial markets. Hillary says she has a cabinet full lot of new ideas on the economy. Unfortunately, most of them are really dimwitted. I’ve identified five of Hillary Clinton’s lousiest ideas that could hurt employment, growth and stocks. 1. Raise the minimum wage to $12 or even $15 an hour. She might as well call this Teenage Job Elimination Act. Even the liberal Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that a $12 an hour minimum wage would reduce the number of starter jobs by as many as one million. Think how much joblessness for teenagers would come from $15. Seattle recently raised its minimum wage to $11 and headed to $15. An independent assessment by the University of Washington finds that so far the law has had the “negative unintended consequence” of fewer hours worked and fewer jobs. Is this what we want for the nation? 2. Hike income tax rates. There isn’t an economic philosophy known to man that says raising taxes will help the economy. But Hillary is going to give it a try to the tune of $1.5 trillion sucked out of the economy. Under Hillary’s plan the income tax rate would rise to above 45 percent and the death tax would go to 65 percent for the very rich. Capital gains taxes would nearly double. History proves that raising tax rates is the least effective way for the federal government to raise revenue. IRS statistics indicate that most of the people who fall into the top one or two percent of income are small business owners — and they are America’s major employers. In the 1980s when income tax rates were slashed from 70% to 28%, the amount of tax revenues over the decade doubled and the share of taxes paid by the rich increased. All you have to do is look at the high tax states like Connecticut, and Illinois and New York and you can see the jobs and people fleeing. Our highest in the world business income tax rate has caused many household name companies, like Burger King and Johnson Controls leaving these shores for more tax hospitable places. Hillary’s plan may speed up this exodus. 3. Subsidize 500 million solar panels. Hillary says this proposal will stop the earth’s temperature from changing and protect us from climate change. But we tried these green energy handouts under Barack Obama and they were a failure. Remember Solyndra? That firm received some $500 million of taxpayer dollars an then went belly up. The Institute for Energy Research estimates a price tag of $200 billion for all these solar panels. That is more than it cost to put a man on the moon during the Apollo project. Solar energy already receives more than $100 of taxpayer subsidy per kilowatt of energy produced for every dollar that goes to oil and gas or coal. Let the free market pick the next great energy source, which may be clean burning natural gas.

Exactly!!  To see economist Stephen Moore’s other two points, click on the text above.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and taking a class from, Stephen.  He is now a senior economic advisor to Donald Trump.

Stephen Moore: EPA Passing ‘Regulations Intentionally Designed to Shut Down Our Domestic Energy Industry’

“It’s not that complicated” to reinvigorate the American economy and fuel a game-changing economic revolution through energy policy, author Stephen Moore told Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon while discussing his latest book, Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy, written with Kathleen Hartnett White. “All we really have to do is get the government out of the way.” The description of the book states: ” Fossil fuel energy is the lifeblood of the modern world. Before the Industrial Revolution, humanity depended on burning wood and candle wax. But with the ability to harness the energy in oil and other fossil fuels, quality of life and capacity for progress increased exponentially. Thanks to incredible innovations in the energy industry, fossil fuels are as promising, safe, and clean an energy resource as has ever existed in history. Yet, highly politicized climate policies are pushing a grand-scale shift to unreliable, impractical, incredibly expensive, and far less efficient energy sources. Today, “fossil fuel” has become such a dirty word that even fossil fuel companies feel compelled to apologize for their products. In Fueling Freedom, energy experts Stephen Moore and Kathleen Hartnett White make an unapologetic case for fossil fuels, turning around progressives’ protestations to prove that if fossil fuel energy is supplanted by “green” alternatives for political reasons, humanity will take a giant step backwards and the planet will be less safe, less clean, and less free.” Moore said, “Let’s build the pipelines. The private sector wants to build pipelines. Let them do that. We should put some restraints on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); they’re passing these regulations that are intentionally designed to shut down our domestic energy industry.” He added, “Can you imagine another country doing that to themselves? That’s economic masochism. And then, finally, we should allow drilling on non-environmentally sensitive public lands.” Moore and White estimate that the U.S. government is sitting on $50 trillion in recoverable oil and gas resources. There’s additional work and information regarding Moore via Heritage: Stephen Moore, who formerly wrote on the economy and public policy for The Wall Street Journal, is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Project for Economic Growth, at The Heritage Foundation. Moore, who also was a member of The Journal’s editorial board, returned to Heritage in January 2014 — about 25 years after his tenure as the leading conservative think tank’s Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Budgetary Affairs from 1984 to 1987.

The ‘Fascist’ left in America

It’s hard to find a self-respecting liberal these days who doesn’t denounce Donald Trump as “a fascist.” if you Google “fascist” the first thing that pops on the screen is a photo of Mr. Trump. Those in the media or the university professors or Democratic pundits who don’t call him a fascist resort to over-the-top sneering terms like “racist,” “repellent,” and even “Nazi.” After Mr. Trump’s call for a moratorium on Muslim immigration, here were a few of the choice words for those tolerant people on the left: “He is running for president as a fascist demagogue.” – Martin O’Malley, Democratic presidential candidate. “Trump literally wants to write racism into our law books” — Huma Abedin, aide to Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. “It is … entirely fair to call him a mendacious racist.” – Ben Smith, editor-in-chief, Buzzfeed. “America’s modern Mussolini.” -Dana Milbank, The Washington Post. “Trump is a proto-fascist, rather than an actual fascist. He has many ideas that are fascistic in nature . CNN. At the end of this sneering commentary, CNN launched into a fascinating tutorial on what a Fascist is. Here are several key characteristics of a fascist leader according to CNN: • “The superiority of the leader’s instincts over abstract and universal reason.” • “The belief of one group that it is the victim, justifying any action.” • “The need for authority by natural leaders (always male) culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny.” Wait a minute. What modern politician best fits this description? Could it be … Barack Obama. The Messiah. The chosen one. The man who holds political rallies with gothic columns in giant amphitheaters who enters the stage as if he were a Greek god? The greatest demagogue of modern times, who convinced the vast electorate that they are “victims” and that their key to happiness and prosperity is to take from the rich — people, he says, who have way more wealth than they could possibly need. President Obama’s whole political success rests on identity politics — of persuading blacks, Hispanics, Jews, women, the disabled, gays, students, the poor, immigrants, that they are victims of a vast American government conspiracy against them. As for belief in the “superiority” of the leader’s powers “over reason,” Barack Obama the omnipotent tells his followers that he has the capability of “healing the planet,” changing the earth’s weather pattern, and stopping oceans from rising. He is promising miracles that require people to suspend all reason and believe that he can achieve the equivalent of Moses parting the oceans. So just who is the “proto-fascist” really? By the way, Mr. Obama doesn’t advocate violence either. Liberal fascism, as my friend Jonah Goldberg has aptly pointed out in his book of the same title, is the “collaboration of government, church, unions and interest groups to expand government. It is simply the liberal impulse for controlling the lives of others.” It is the religion of the left. The weird argument that Mr. Trump is a fascist, but Mr. Obama isn’t, is as specious as the left’s rant that the greatest surgeon in the world, Ben Carson, doesn’t have the right qualifications to be president, but a man who’s only accomplishment in life was to be a community organizer in the streets of Chicago was perfectly trained to oversee our $18 trillion economy and take over as our commander in chief. Ironically, the left intelligentsia that is accusing Mr. Trump of fascism, are many of the same people in Hollywood who just made a movie celebrating the communists/fascists of the 1950s within their ranks — and portraying them sympathetically as blackballed victims, rather than subversive supporters of butchers who killed millions of Jews, blacks, gays, Christians, and dissidents. Many of the communists in Hollywood, not least of all Trumbo, were avid supporters of Stalin and even remained so after his genocidal purges were well-documented. Even the Russians themselves have repudiated the savagery of Stalin — but not the American left. So what really is fascism? The left simplistically has redefined the term to mean it is when massive numbers of voters support a conservative cause supported by the right and opposed by the left. If you oppose racial quotas or gun control, you are a fascist. If you support traditional marriage, you are a fascist. If you want to cut welfare benefits, you are a fascist. If you support Donald Trump, you are a fascist. By this definition liberals can’t be fascists because they are on a righteous cause. But the real definition of a fascist is a leader who wants to use governmental power to suppress rights of individuals. It is the partnership of government and private industry for the collective good. Corporate cronyism is a classic form of fascism, which would include programs like Export Import Bank. Fascism, communism, socialism, Naziism, progressivism, are all just variations on this same theme. These isms all feed on subjugating freedom.

Exactly!!  The term “nazi” refers to a national SOCIALIST.  And who, in our American political system is a socialist?  For those who are new to The Daily Buzz, I’ll help ya out..  That would be Obama…and folks like Bernie Sanders (a self-proclaimed, and proud socialist), Hillary, and so on.  That is why we use terms here like nazi and fascist for such extreme, liberal Democrats.  It is a FAR more accurate use of that term.  So, kudos to economist Stephen Moore for setting the record straight here.

Anatomy of a failed liberal state – Illinois Schools, roads and safety get shortchanged to pay for public employee pensions

When I grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago in the 1960s and the 1970s, the state of Illinois was still a financial and industrial powerhouse. The Land of Lincoln had a low rate flat income tax, the property taxes were reasonable, the state ran budget surpluses, and Illinois was the home of such iconic mega-employers as Caterpillar, Sears Roebuck, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The public schools were pretty good back then and a dedicated corps of teachers put kids first — they didn’t walk out on strike and they didn’t have the fat pensions they can get now when retiring at age 55. Mayor Richard Daley (“the boss”) ruled Chicago for decades and it was “the city that works.” Yes, you had to pay off the unions to get things done, but this was a cost of doing business. Things did get done. Fast forward to today and what a sad state of affairs. Last week the state had to embarrassingly announce that it doesn’t even have the money in the bank to pay lottery winners. Now the jackpot winners are suing the state to get their rightful money. Perhaps the state will need a second lottery to raise money to pay off the winners from the first lottery. Chicago is so broke that its bonds are junk status and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel had to go hat in hand last week to Springfield for bailout money to pay the bills. According to Forrest Claypool, who is the new chief executive for the Chicago school system: “We are really now at a point where further cuts would reach deep into the classroom.” Teachers have been laid off and extracurricular activities have been cut. Yes, the financial crisis is wreaking havoc, but to ask the state to kick in money is a laughable proposition — like Puerto Rico asking Greece for a loan. Springfield is plum out of money too. To protest additional service cuts, The Wall Street Journal reports that parents are going on hunger strikes. But it will take more than divine intervention for the cash inflow to meet expenditures. Why should residents of other states care about this financial meltdown in Chicago and Springfield Illinois. The answer is that Chicago is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to the government pension crisis. Pensions to retired teachers and state employees are bleeding the state dry. Since 2006, annual pension payments have grown tenfold, from $60 million to over $650 million. A state budget office spokesman tells me that “nearly one of three state tax dollars now goes to paying pensions for retired municipal and state employees.” Meanwhile tax increases on the rich under the previous governor failed to raise much money, but did accelerate an exodus of money and talent out of the state. A new Illinois Policy Institute study based on latest IRS data finds a record number of people have been fleeing Cook County. “The income of the people who left Cook County in 2012 was $2 billion more than the income of the people who moved into Cook County … The 2011 and 2012 out-migration will cost the county nearly $30 billion in taxable income over the next decade.” It couldn’t get much worse, right? Wrong. The state has been operating without a budget new for more than two months. Vendors are routinely going two or three months without getting paid because the vault is empty. The Democrats who rule the state legislature and serve their masters, the Illinois teachers unions, passed a budget this summer that is $5 billion in the red out of a $34 billion budget flouting the state’s balanced budget requirement. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who inherited this calamity, is the state’s last best hope. He has vetoed the state budget and rejected the unions’ demands for more taxes. Property and sales taxes (which can reach 10 percent at the cash register in Chicago’s Cook County) are already nearly the highest in the nation. The rich that the unions want to tax have been leaving for Florida and Arizona and Texas. Mr. Rauner argues that Illinois already has one of the five worst business environments in the nation. Worst of all, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that pensions can’t be touched because they are contractual obligations. So funding for schools, roads, and public safety get shortchanged so that public employees can keep cashing in on benefits far more generous than what private sector workers/taxpayers receive. This is justice? No wonder residents are going on hunger strikes. It’s a battle Royale that pits the unions bosses against the taxpayers. And it’s a fight that Mr. Rauner can’t lose. If he does, the exodus from the state will look like the floods of Hungarian refugees trying to get to western Europe.

A compelling op/ed by economist Stephen Moore!

Opinion: Back to the spending trough, again – Now it’s Republicans who can’t control their gluttony

There’s an old saying about politicians that they come to Washington promising to clean up the swamp, but then they discover it’s really a hot tub — and jump right in. So here we go again with a pattern since at least the early Reagan years. Republicans seize back power in the elections from big-spending Democrats by promising to lasso out-of-control government, and to their credit, for a while they do just that. Then they start to settle in to power, feel comfortable with their new perches of authority, and then return to spending as usual. The water’s nice. This pattern unfolded when the Gipper’s first budgets were tight-fisted and bold. Domestic spending and the welfare state were reined in for a while. That lasted about three years, and then spending and even taxes were raised by Republicans. Then in the Republican Revolution of 1994 when Newt Gingrich and the GOP took over both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years, spending was flattened in 1995, 1996 and 1997, and surpluses emerged. But by 2000, spending accelerated again during the George W. Bush years. Now fast-forward to today. I have been one of the biggest cheerleaders for the GOP’s spending controls under the sequestration process. For the first time since the 1950s, federal spending fell for three years in a row. As a share of gross domestic product (GDP), federal outlays collapsed from 23.5 percent in 2010 to 20.3 percent in 2014. Spending as a share of GDP was about a half-trillion dollars lower as a share of GDP by 2014 than if the Obama spending track record had continued. That’s an impressive record of fiscal discipline, and John Boehner and Mitch McConnell don’t get the credit they deserve for masterminding the sequestration process at a time when the White House has been occupied by the most liberal president since the 1950s. So what happened? During the last 18 months, the trend has reversed course. Twice already the Republicans have modified the sequestration spending caps to make room for more program funding. And that happened not because Democrats wanted to spend more — which, of course, they did. It happened because a growing band of Republicans wanted to raid the Treasury. The excuse was that we needed to spend more on military programs, but an increasing number of pro-spending Republicans wanted to feed the beast of social programs, and brick-and-mortar programs as well. As Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, one of the fiscal hawks in the House and the leader of the new Freedom Caucus tells me, “One of the biggest problems we face now is getting our own members to vote to control spending.” Here’s the evidence. So far in this fiscal year (October through April) federal spending has exploded by another $133 billion, or a jackrabbit sprint of 7 percent growth. Admittedly, $46 billion of this higher “spending” is artificially due to less money coming into the Treasury from repayments from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Still, domestic outlays are growing about twice the 2 percent rate of inflation. If the trend continues through September, then federal spending will rise by $171 billion this year — and that assumes no hurricanes, floods, military emergencies and so on. Spending is expected to rise by another $250 billion in 2016. The figure shows the reversal of fortune. Meanwhile, Citizens Against Government Waste finds oinker earmarks are clawing their way back into the budget. Yet there’s still an attitude that spending is tight. Rep. Kay Granger, a Texas Republican, told The Hill: “We’re living with just really low numbers without any wiggle room, any flexibility.” Really? The biggest expenditure increases are for Obamacare, including the taxpayer-funded exchange subsidies. Those costs are up just a shade under 30 percent in one year. Medicare costs are up 8.1 percent. Wait a minute. Didn’t Mr. Obama promise the Affordable Care Act would bend the cost curve down? Republican security hawks thought they would get an equal amount of extra defense spending for each dollar of domestic program increases. That hasn’t happened this year. So far, Pentagon outlays are coming in lower than last year. This means all of the spending hikes have been for domestic agencies that are the pet programs of the left. Despite the Mount Everest-like $18 trillion national debt, interest payments on serving the debt are also running slightly lower this year. That, of course, is because of very low interest rates on Treasury bonds. But if these rates begin to rise to normal levels, interest costs will begin to soar again. We may be living on borrowed money and borrowed time. When these ugly budget numbers come fully to light, there are going to be a lot of mighty angry conservative voters. A Republican House and Senate have overloaded the federal budget with record spending levels. It’s going to be hard to blame that on Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. Republicans say they are going to balance the budget in 10 years. Good luck with that. So far this year, they haven’t been able to discipline themselves for just four months.

A sobering op/ed by respected economist Stephen Moore. I had the privilege of hearing him speak live at a conference I attended several years ago.

Opinion: The myth of ‘settled science’ – When the left shuts down debate, it’s time for skepticism

National Geographic’s latest cover story has generated lots of attention because it sneers at those close-minded Americans — mostly conservatives, of course — who do not accept scientific “facts.” Only 40 percent of Americans (according to Pew Research Center) “accept that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming,” and the magazine finds it “dispiriting” that so many “reasonable people doubt science.” National Geographic compares global warming doubters to those disbelieve NASA’s moon landing and those who think water fluoridation is an evil plot. How could so many dismiss “established science?” Well, here’s one reason: The public has come to distrust government warnings and the scientific experts; they are often wrong. Ironically, National Geographic’s sermon on settled science could have hardly come at a more inopportune time. In recent months, leading scientists have reversed themselves and have admitted their expert findings and advice were wrong on eating fat. After decades of telling us not to do so, we now learn that fat can be good for your diet and for weight loss. What we all thought to be true based on the expert testimonies, turned out to be precisely the opposite of the truth. Oops. Forty years ago the experts warned of a coming ice age, now they are absolutely certain the earth is warming — and some of the same “experts” were onboard both scares. National Geographic even acknowledges this inconvenient fact, but it explains that this somehow actually helps make the case for global warming. If a scientific theory isn’t refutable — i.e., warming and cooling both prove climate change — then how is it science? The magazine is incredulous that so many skeptics “believe that climate activists are using the threat of global warming to attack the free market and industrial society generally.” Wait. Climate change activists are using the issue as a means of attacking free-market capitalism. This past summer major environmental groups gathered in Venezuela to solve leading environmental problems like global warming, concluding: “The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system.” How is it paranoia to believe that the climate change industry wants to shut down capitalism when the movement plainly states that this is its objective? And how can a movement be driven by science when its very agenda violates basic laws of economics?

Exactly!  Economist Stephen Moore nails it!

Sorry, Mr. Obama: Here’s why raising taxes on the rich won’t work

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that 68 percent of Americans think the wealthy don’t pay enough federal taxes, and that 60 percent believe the middle class pays too much — leading media mavens to conclude that voters support President Obama’s proposals to raise investment taxes on the super-rich and spread the wealth around to people who are lower on the economic ladder. It’s no great surprise that middle class voters are feeling overtaxed. This has been a dreadfully slow recovery, and millions in the middle class are treading water at best. Since the recession ended, median family income has fallen by about $1,500 after adjusting for inflation, so the idea of taxing someone else’s paycheck sounds mighty appealing. But the idea that the rich aren’t paying any taxes is based on misinformation fed to voters. Politicians and the media have consistently told voters that the wealthiest among us – Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Brady, Taylor Swift – are paying very little income tax compared to the rest of us. We are told by no less than Barack Obama that these millionaires and billionaires have all the money, but they don’t bear much, if any, of the burden to pay for the schools, the roads, the police, the welfare benefits and the rest of the tasks of government. Mr. Obama wants to raise the top 1 percent’s income tax payments to level the playing field and enhance tax “fairness.” So it’s time for a reality test.

Indeed..  This is an EXCELLENT op/ed by economist Stephen Moore.

Obama’s illusory economic recovery – Official statistics ignore the real hardships families face

The big news from this week’s State of the Union address is that the economic “crisis is over.” Apparently, we’ve been rescued from a second Great Depression and everything this president has done to fix the economy has worked. All that was missing from Mr. Obama’s celebration was the old “Icky Shuffle” end zone dance. This no doubt came as a bit of a shock to voters since the economy has been sickly for a long, long time. As recently as this fall, half of Americans were saying that the country is still in recession.

An excellent op/ed by Stephen Moore over at

Obama’s illusory economic recovery – Official statistics ignore the real hardships families face

The big news from this week’s State of the Union address is that the economic “crisis is over.” Apparently, we’ve been rescued from a second Great Depression and everything this president has done to fix the economy has worked. All that was missing from Mr. Obama’s celebration was the old “Icky Shuffle” end zone dance. This no doubt came as a bit of a shock to voters since the economy has been sickly for a long, long time. As recently as this fall, half of Americans were saying that the country is still in recession.

An excellent op/ed by economist Stephen Moore over at