Monday, October 31, 2016

Presidential campaign has not focused much on important issues

The presidential campaign has not adequately addressed the issues and problems facing the United States, but the next president has a mountain of problems needing attention.

Looking at polls from major news organizations – CBS News/New York Times; ABC News/Washington Post; NBC News/Wall Street Journal – from May through October of this year, the economy/jobs is the leading issue in all polls, followed by the combination of terrorism, national security and immigration. Tam Warner Minton, writing on The Huffington Post blog, suggests that the Supreme Court is the most important of the issues.

All of these issues are important, but two of them – The economy/jobs; and the U.S. Supreme Court – are already affecting the country.

The thing to remember when evaluating the way Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton approach these problems is that one of them loves and lives for big and bigger government, while the other plainly prefers the private sector.

Looking at the economy and job creation, Trump has actually created jobs through his hotels, golf courses and casinos; while Clinton’s decades in the public sector leaves her with no real experience in this important sphere.

Her approach to jobs and the economy will rely on increased regulation, reducing taxes on the middle class and making the rich pay more. The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) analyzed the Clinton plan and said, “As currently presented, the Clinton tax proposals would increase taxes on high-income earners, reduce the exceptions to the corporate income tax, and increase estate taxes, in an effort to raise more revenue and bring greater equity to the current U.S. tax system. According to our NCPA-DCGE model, the plan would generate $615 billion in revenue over 10 years, with most of that increase coming from the federal personal income tax. The cost to the economy would be a net loss of 211,000 jobs by 2026, and a reduction in real GDP of 0.9 percent.”

Clinton has criticized Trump’s tax cutting policy, deriding it as “Trumped-up trickle-down,” a cute phrase, but a horribly ignorant economic reality. The NCPA explains why this idea will out perform Clinton’s: “Rather, insofar as tax cuts raise after-tax profits, they induce taxpayers to expand investment and, in so doing, wages, and jobs. Insofar as they raise after-tax wages, they induce taxpayers to enter the labor force and work longer hours. This is not the result of money “trickling down” from one person to another but of the reduction of disincentives to invest and work that are inherent to any tax code,” and especially one that punishes people with money to invest in job-creating economic activity.

Where the U.S. Supreme Court is concerned, it can cause great harm to the nation if Justices stray from their Constitutional limits, and they often do.

In response to a question in a presidential debate, Clinton said: “If I have the opportunity to make any Supreme Court appointments, I’m going to look broadly and widely for people who represent the diversity of our country, who bring some common-sense, real-world experience.”

This answer displays a shocking lack of understanding of the job of the Supreme Court, and the purpose and meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The Court’s duty and function have nothing to do with ideas of diversity, or the supposed benefits of real-world experience. Its job is essentially to resolve legal disputes, being sure always to uphold the principles of the Constitution.

The Constitution is alive, but it is not a “living document,” the meaning of which would change with the winds of societal preferences. The Founders based the Constitution upon important principles that were intended for the ages. They understood that at some future point there may be a true need for modification, and they created a mechanism for doing so. That mechanism is not simply a majority of Supreme Court Justices wanting to make a change; it is a clear and difficult process, difficult by design to prevent foolish modifications to satisfy some momentary desire.

There are essentially two approaches to how justices interpret the Constitution: conservatism/originalism, which honors and adheres to the actual language and original intent of the Constitution; and liberalism, which is a willingness to interpret the language for some social or political end, which results in making law from the bench instead of in the Congress, as the Constitution requires.

Packing the Court with Justices who do not honor the original meaning of the Constitution in order to achieve some narrow ideological objective is a form of subversion, and Hillary Clinton is married to that goal.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, understands the great wrong of that goal, and has vowed to nominate judicial conservatives/originalists to fill Court vacancies.

The left likes for things to be easy: easy border control and easy citizenship; easy changing of the Constitution; easy to vote through early voting and without a picture ID; and easy to live off of government support, rather than facing the rigors of a job, among them.

Such laxness and failure to uphold traditional standards makes it much easier to turn America to liberalism/socialism through subversive measures than trying to persuade people to accept it. We must resist these efforts.

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