Best Of The Web
“A tax cut has a big first-order effect: the people whose taxes are reduced have more money, and the government has less. Since both of these — more inequality and higher deficits — are generally regarded as bad things, Republicans habitually dismiss them, and instead focus on second-order effects they predict will happen. The supply-side economic theory favored by most Republicans holds that rich people are exquisitely sensitive to tax rates, and their willingness to work or invest rises and falls dramatically in response even to small changes in tax rates.
This is why Republicans predicted upper-bracket tax hikes, like those passed under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, would massively depress economic activity and raise less revenue than standard forecasts predicted. (It didn’t.) It is also why they predicted tax cuts passed by George W. Bush, and Republican governments in states like Kansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana would yield far more revenue than predicted. (It didn’t.) They maintained the same belief about President Trump’s corporate tax cuts. The conviction is so strong that even the most moderate Republicans insist higher growth would cause revenue to rise rather than fall is response to the tax cuts.
In the ten months that have passed since Trump signed the tax cuts into law, the second-order effects have been undetectable. Nothing bad has happened to the economy; on the other hand, nothing especially good has happened, either. Growth and wages have tracked at about the same pace as before Trump took office. Republicans built a messaging campaign around one quarter of 4 percent growth, which they treated as unprecedented and now permanent development, ignoring the fact that the economy produced several such quarters under the Obama administration.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Now I’m starting to wonder how I can go at all. And I’m also wondering why more Muslims don’t question the powers that control our most sacred site—and how the Saudis have already twisted it to their own political and financial ends."
"It's going to be a letdown. Not only is it likely that the final report will not reveal that the president has been a KGB agent since the late '80s, as at least one mainstream liberal columnist fantasized."
"The JFNA GA may say they want to talk, but there are some parts of Israel which have the feeling that this American Jewish organization is not really interested in hearing what they have to say."
“What responsibility do you think young, famous women have today to be activists?” I asked Bateman. “Are you tempted to leverage your fame for political reasons?”
"For nearly 40 years, the GOP has relied on cutting taxes as an easy way to win votes, even when their plans—like the most recent package—benefit only the rich. "
"On its face, voting by phone makes sense. Nearly ninety-five per cent of American adults own mobile phones, and rely on them for all sorts of secure transactions."
"Allegations of sexual harassment brought down Bill Gothard, a leading figure of the Christian right. But his fall also revealed the diminished influence of fundamentalism in the Trump era."
"Literature — the top-shelf, award-winning stuff — is positively ectoplasmic these days, crawling with hauntings, haints and wraiths of every stripe and disposition."
"Kids have a habit of imitating their parents’ criminal behavior. It’s no wonder, then, that by one measure, 10 percent of families account for two-thirds of criminals."
"SFAH doesn’t make an argument for local or slow food per se, but that’s what we see. The dishes are simple, with few ingredients, made traditionally and with pleasure."
We think of archeological finds as being clues to the ancient past. In a new book from Ulrike Sommer, archeology's effects on present-day national narratives are excavated.
"That the highest God speaks for six days and then has to rest from fatigue at the seventh is a patent absurdity: ‘It is not fitting for the first God to be tired or to work with his hands or to give orders,’ he writes."