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January 9, 2018 | Star Parker | Syndicated Nationally by Creators


There are, indeed, positive things happening as result of President Trump's leadership — deregulation, a new tax bill, overall business-friendly policies and rhetoric.

There's plenty to celebrate in the December Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing black unemployment at 6.8 percent, the lowest ever since they started reporting the data in 1972.
President Trump tweeted out his excitement and, of course, took credit for the good news. Has there ever been a politician who didn't take credit for good news on his watch (or rationalize away responsibility for bad news)?
The president's detractors, of course, wasted no time in challenging him, pointing out that unemployment rates have been dropping since the economic recovery started, well before Trump took office. Trump, they say, is as responsible for this latest monthly drop as he is for the morning sunrise.
It seems to me quite reasonable for Trump to take credit for this. There are, indeed, positive things happening as result of his leadership — deregulation, a new tax bill, overall business-friendly policies and rhetoric. These things create a business environment of optimism and confidence, which drives investment and increases demand for labor.
However, rather than obsessing about what particular politician to praise or excoriate for certain economic results, our discussion should be about policies and not about personalities. Let's savor this news but not lose our sobriety regarding the great task before us in this community.
The latest 6.8 percent black unemployment figure sounds great for blacks. But not for whites. The white rate for December was 3.7 percent. Why should there be celebrations that the black rate is "only" 3.1 percentage points higher than the white rate? Why should there be a different economic standard for blacks?
Black unemployment rates have averaged twice the white rate since 1972.
Black poverty rates are around twice the national average.
Black income and household wealth have hardly changed, remaining a fraction of that of whites.
This is the conversation we should be having. When do all American citizens participate equally in our national economic cornucopia?
Donald Trump was onto something when he asked blacks, during the presidential campaign, "What do you have to lose?"
Trump is offering a mindset that blacks should relish. A completely new and different reality. The cultural and political reality that blacks have turned to for years — big government — is the reason these gaps persist. It's time for something new.
Black unemployment peaked at 16.8 percent in March 2010 during President Obama's efforts to recover from the 2007-2008 economic collapse.
But the irony is that the collapse was driven by government policies put in place to help low-income Americans to make housing purchases. Contrary to what Barack Obama pitched to the country — blaming business and claiming the problem was insufficient government and regulation — American Enterprise Institute scholar Peter Wallison has shown the opposite.
Government policies mandating higher quotas of mortgages for low- to moderate-income borrowers put an increasing percentage of subprime mortgages on the market. By 2008, according to Wallison, 56 percent of the mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — the two massive government-backed mortgage companies — were in this category.
Then everything collapsed.
An ocean of new regulations on financial services, enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, was the Democratic Congress' answer to their own misdiagnosed analysis of what caused the collapse. As a result, we had a slower-than-normal economic recovery.
These are the discussions we need today. How do we get out of the big government mindset that has been a drag on our economy and has perpetuated economic underperformance in low-income communities?
In this context, Trump is right to boast. He is bringing badly needed new thinking on issues concerning low-income America. It's already making a difference.

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January 2, 2018 | Star Parker | Syndicated Nationally by Creators


The economy is growing like it hasn't in years, the most sweeping tax reform since 1986 has been passed, and he is deregulating.

President Trump took office at the beginning of 2017 swimming in a sea of negativity.
Some predicted that he wouldn't make it through the year. Some predicted that he even if he did, he would fail to get any major legislation passed.
Pew Research Center reported that 62 percent of the news stories about Trump's first 60 days were negative, compared to 20 percent in President Obama's first 60 days and 28 percent in Bush's and Clinton's.
But those who voted for Trump wanted something completely different, and Trump is not disappointing them. As he moves forward in Washington with his own style of doing business, it brings to mind Frank Sinatra's classic song, "My Way."
Indeed, Trump is doing it his way. But what is causing doubters to sit up is that he is accomplishing in a big way.
The economy is growing like it hasn't in years, the most sweeping tax reform since 1986 has been passed, and he is deregulating. The number of pages in the Federal Register — where new regulations are published — is now two-thirds of where it stood in the Obama years.
Trump has already put his stamp on the nation, which will have repercussions for years, in his impressive conservative judicial appointments — 12 of his federal appeals court judge nominations have been confirmed by the Senate — and Neil Gorsuch has taken Antonin Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court.
With two Supreme Court justices over 80 — Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — chances are that Trump will have an opportunity to place another solid conservative on the Supreme Court in the course of his first term.
Reports are that Trump will meet with Senate Majority leader McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan soon at Camp David to discuss legislative plans for 2018.
Major campaign issues still on the table are immigration reform, welfare reform and national infrastructure investments.
It is reasonable to expect that the product of these deliberations will reflect a combination of idealism — what they believe are national priorities — and political realism — what they see as doable in the existing political environment.
Certainly, McConnell's challenge in the Senate has increased with his Republican margin now a razor-thin 51 to 49.
On the other hand, in our unconventional president we have a man with plans to accomplish — his way.
Perhaps Trump fulfilled his campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel to show that he is willing to do what he sees as the right thing despite great opposition.
In immigration reform and welfare reform, we have two issues vitally in need of attention, both with huge impacts on the nation and both very politically difficult.
But the inability of Washington to fix what is broken in our nation is what drove so many voters to Trump. If Trump ignores or forgets this, then it will turn him into just another politician. My guess is that this is an intolerable and indigestible fate to Donald Trump.
So I am optimistic that 2018 will bring more unexpected accomplishments from Trump, as he carries forward promises from his campaign.
That is, to turn the country back to its people, to re-unify the country under its founding ideals, and for all Americans to feel part of the American enterprise.
He said it memorably in his inaugural address. "And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit, or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their hearts with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator."
I'm looking forward to a great 2018.

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December 26, 2017 | Star Parker | Syndicated Nationally by Creators


The U.N. operates on very strange logic. That somehow a democracy of unfree countries voting -- one vote for each country -- produces a result that has something to do with the value of freedom.

Following the U.N. General Assembly vote condemning the United States' recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and Ambassador Nikki Haley's bold speech to that body following the vote, Haley has announced that the 2018 budget for the U.N. will be cut by $285 million.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the United States contributed $10 billion to the U.N. in 2016, about 25 percent of its total budget.
So $285 million is not a game-changing sum. But this is a significant step to put the U.N. — and the world — on notice that President Donald Trump means what he says. "We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked," said Haley.
One hundred and twenty-eight nations in the General Assembly voted to condemn and annul the U.S. decision on Jerusalem and only nine voted to support the United States.
As Haley pointed out, this vote had implications beyond this one, albeit critically important, issue. It was about American values, the coincidence of American values with the United States' support of Israel, and a reassessment of the United States' role in the U.N.
The United States and Israel stand for the "ideals of human freedom and dignity that the United Nations is supposed to be about," said Ambassador Haley.
Looking at the particular realities of the U.N., it's hard to see coincidence between these American values and what is going on there.
Freedom House in Washington, D.C., issues an annual report in which it reports on the state of freedom in 193 nations around the world. Each nation is evaluated in terms of political rights and civil liberties, and then is given a score. According to this score, nations are then broken out into three categories — free, partially free and not free.
Of the 128 nations that voted this week against the United States move on Jerusalem, only 55, or 43 percent, are rated by Freedom House as free. The rest have serious problems regarding political rights and/or civil liberties in their country.
The U.N. operates on very strange logic. That somehow a democracy of unfree countries voting — one vote for each country — produces a result that has something to do with the value of freedom.
It's somewhat akin to trial by jury where most of the jurors are convicted criminals.
What, after all, can be the meaning of despotic nations like North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Iran and Venezuela voting to express their opinion of the legitimacy of the United States recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital?
Adding further irony, Israel is rated by Freedom House as one of the freest nations in the world. In the Middle East/North Africa region, there are two nations out of 18 that are free. One is Israel. Yet, Israel is regularly condemned by the U.N., whereas the 16 despotic regimes in that region get no attention.
Why should the United States continue to be the largest contributor to the U.N. for what Haley called the "dubious distinction" of being disrespected and having its values flouted?
A few days before the U.N. vote, Trump gave a speech at the Reagan Building in Washington defining his National Security Strategy. He stated that "a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them."
As we enter the new year, Americans should feel pride and optimism that, at last, it appears we have an American administration that is certain of our values — human freedom and dignity as stated by Nikki Haley — and is ready to boldly demonstrate the "will to defend" these values.
It's about time the United States is getting real about the United Nations. President Trump should get high-fives for his leadership.

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December 19, 2017 | Star Parker | Syndicated Nationally by Creators


Contrary to what Bernie Sanders thinks, what is good for business is good for the working families they employ.

As I listen to and read what those on the left have to say about the soon-to-be-law tax bill, I wonder where these folks think wealth comes from.
They like to talk about milking the cow but don't seem to think it's relevant to talk about where you get the cow.
They want to talk about redistributing wealth but have very little interest in the most fundamental issue, which is how wealth is created. Where does it come from?
Why, when we look around the world, are some countries so much more prosperous than others?
Or why, when we look at our own country, do we go through periods that are more prosperous than others?
America's most famous socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders, calls this tax bill a "massive attack on the middle class," claiming that the priority of the bill is "multinational corporations and not working families."
It is true that one of the major features of this bill is large cut to the corporate tax rate. But is this bad for working families? Where, after all, do working families work?
Where does the investment take place that creates the jobs that employ and pay the working Americans that Sanders claims to care so much about? Isn't it in the interest of working families that places where they are employed, or seek employment, prosper?
The World Bank publishes annually its ease-of-doing-business index.
The index combines indicators of ease of starting and operating a business in 189 countries around the world. It measures, in general, the severity of regulation and taxation of businesses.
Why does the World Bank bother with this? Because the more business-friendly the country, the more we see economic prosperity in that country.
Contrary to what Sanders thinks, what is good for business is good for the working families they employ.
Hoover Institution economist John Cochrane has shown the correlation between the ease-of-doing-business score of each country and the per capita income of that country. The higher the ease-of-doing-business score, the higher the per capita income.
When Cochrane looked at the data in 2016, the U.S. had a score of 82 on the index and a per capita income of $53,000. China had a score of 61 and a per capita income of $7,000. India a score of 50 and a per capita income of $1,455.
It's pretty clear that American workers benefit enormously by the good business environment in the United States compared with other countries.
Now they will benefit even more as result of cutting the U.S. corporate tax rate, currently one of the highest in the world. It will encourage business expansion at home and discourage movement abroad of businesses seeking a more tax-friendly environment.
This friendlier business environment will produce higher incomes and faster economic growth.
The eight years of the Obama administration had the lowest economic growth, averaging 1.6 percent per year, since the end of World War II.
According to Cochrane, the U.S. economy grew 3.5 percent per year on average from 1950 to 2000, more than twice that of the Obama years. If over that last half-century the economy grew at the 1.6 percent annual rate of the Obama years, per capita income would be less than half what it is today.
So, please, let's stop with the nonsense about the tax bill favoring businesses and the wealthy over working Americans.
Envy doesn't make a nation great and prosperous. Investment, growth and prosperity do.
This is what we are getting in this most important tax reform in years. It helps restore a tax code that encourages rather than punishes wealth creation. This is exactly what all Americans need.

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December 12, 2017 | Star Parker | Syndicated Nationally by Creators


Bottom line: What we call a racial divide today is really a partisan divide.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows yet another perspective on the deep racial division in our country.
According to the poll, 86 percent of blacks compared to 50 percent of whites say that President Trump does not "respect people of color as much as he respects white people."
However the partisan divide is even greater than the racial divide.
Ninety-one percent of Democrats compared to 12 percent of Republicans agree with the statement that President Trump is racially biased against people of color.
Bottom line: What we call a racial divide today is really a partisan divide.
Consider the remarks of Rep. John Lewis, who decided to not attend the opening of the new Civil Rights Museum in Mississippi because Trump announced he would attend. Lewis called Trump's attendance "an affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement."
Or the president of the NAACP who also announced he would not attend because of Trump's attendance. NAACP President Derrick Johnson called Trump's attendance at the museum's opening "a distraction from us having the opportunity to honor true Americans who sacrificed so much to ensure that democracy works."
But the "insult" to civil rights comes today from these very black leaders who claim to represent this movement.
The leaders who fought in the 1960s for civil rights fought for freedom and against stereotyping any individual because of their race. Freedom means living and thinking freely according one's judgment and conscience. That is, blacks may have conservative as well as liberal views.
In 2016, 8 percent of black voters, or 1.2 million people, voted for Donald Trump. But these 1.2 million blacks don't exist in the view of today's "civil rights" leaders.
Like the Dred Scott decision in 1857, which declared blacks inhuman and therefore not eligible to be American citizens, so-called black leaders of 2017 declare the same status for black Republicans and black conservatives.
About 15 percent of black men between ages of 18 and 54 voted for Donald Trump.
A black leadership whose primary interest is black freedom, rather than left-wing politics, would be asking why this many black Americans voted for Donald Trump.
More careful reasoning would shine light among black voters that we have a president who is an independent thinker and who has the courage to fight against an entrenched status quo. And fighting against an entrenched status quo is something African-Americans need.
As Housing and Urban Development secretary, Dr. Ben Carson is creatively finding new approaches to the largely failed government housing programs.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz introduced an amendment to the tax bill just passed in the Senate that expands 529 college savings plans, which enables tax-free savings to pay for college, to include K-12 education. This will allow all parents to save tax-free and spend up to $10,000 per year on expenses for public school, private school, religious schools and home schooling.
This has huge implications for black parents and children. America's most famous home-schooled American is Simone Biles, who won four gold medals in the 2016 Olympic games.
Soon the Trump administration and Congress will move on reforming our bloated and inefficient welfare programs. We are spending some $900 billion annually on anti-poverty programs that are helping to bankrupt the country and doing a very poor job improving the quality of life for the Americans these programs are designed to help. Black leaders should be anxious to participate in this vital and historic effort to do a much better job in how we assist low-income Americans.
It's in the interest of every African-American to start thinking about freedom. This is what the civil rights movement was about. Not left-wing politics.

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December 5, 2017 | Star Parker | Syndicated Nationally by Creators


We need law that allows those of different views and values to live together peacefully, mutually respecting the ideal of human liberty.

This week, the Supreme Court hears Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Jack Phillips, proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to create a wedding cake ordered for a same-sex marriage on grounds that it would force him to create a cake expressing a value opposed to his Christian convictions. The gay men who ordered the cake filed a sexual orientation discrimination claim against him with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and the Commission ruled against Phillips.
It was clear that this was not a matter of Phillips refusing to do business with these men because they are gay. He offered to make them any cake they wanted, just not one designed for a same-sex wedding.
Phillips claims his right of free expression under the Constitution's First Amendment.
Some not sympathetic to Phillips' claim argue that making a cake is not artistic expression and has nothing to do with speech protected by the First Amendment.
I'll leave the semantic nuances to the lawyers.
I'd rather consider the spirit of the law and our Constitution.
According to its preamble, the Constitution was established to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
We want a functioning and prosperous society in which everyone can live freely. That's the point.
I am a Christian, and I believe that homosexual behavior is sinful. But as an American, it is no more my business what is happening in my neighbor's home than it is theirs what is happening in mine.
When we move into the public square, our focus needs to be freedom. Not forcing me to accepting the values of others nor them mine. We need law that allows those of different views and values to live together peacefully, mutually respecting the ideal of human liberty.
By this standard, how can we possibly rationalize forcing Phillips to produce a cake against his will, expressing a value anathema to his religion?
How can forcing Phillips to do this be understood in any way as securing for him "the blessings of liberty"?
Those in favor of redefining and legalizing marriage between individuals of the same sex had a great victory in the Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. However, many supporters of that decision distort its spirit. It wasn't about forcing all Americans to accept homosexuality. It was about including this behavior under the umbrella of our guarantees of freedom.
The gay couple that wants to force a Christian man to make a cake for their wedding, against his deepest religious convictions, does not respect the ideal of liberty in which the Obergefell decision was handed down. If they did, they would respect differences and go elsewhere for their cake — something easily done,
According to Pew Research Center, 71 percent of American adults are Christians. Among them, 39 percent say the Bible is "the word of God and should be taken literally." Fifty percent of Evangelical Christians and 59 percent of Black Protestants say the Bible should be understood as the literal word of God.
How can these Christians, white and black, possibly feel that the U.S. Constitution secures for them the "blessings of liberty" if, on a whim, a gay couple can walk into their establishment and demand a product that violates their religious convictions? Especially, when those demanding this product or service can easily obtain it elsewhere.
No, this is not like refusing to serve blacks in a restaurant. The spirit of that behavior is racism, the antithesis of "securing the blessings of liberty."
At the end of the day, our Constitution is only as good as the goodwill of our citizens. Things will only work when the ideal of "securing the blessings of liberty" is taken seriously and respected by all.

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November 28, 2017 | Star Parker | Syndicated Nationally by Creators


The less we self-govern through eternal Biblical truths, learned at home and at school, the more we grow government to control our lives.

The avalanche of sexual harassment claims, with new ones pouring forth daily, leads me to the wisdom of George Washington's observation in his farewell address in 1796:
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. ... And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be managed without religion."
You may say, "There you go again, Star. Waving your Bible."
But is there a better answer for dealing with this problem?
Society, all human life, is guided by rules. The only question before us is: What are the rules that we choose to live by?
Washington's point is crucial. In a free society, one in which we want to minimize government and political control, we must maximize self-governance. Religion, and the morality that emerges from it, provides the rules by which free men and women govern their own behavior.
I will say further that the rules that we learn from scripture provide the framework for a society based on love, respect, and creativity, as opposed to power and control.
And indeed, as we read accounts of the behavior of these men of wealth and influence, who have achieved what many Americans see as the pinnacle of American success, we read descriptions of the behavior of beasts, not men.
Sexuality, outside the framework of mutual love, commitment, and respect between husband and wife, is transformed from a physical expression of intimacy and beauty to the gross and crass behavior of brutes.
That this appears to be so widespread in our society should trouble us all.
So what do we do?
I am a Christian, but I do not believe that our government was designed to mend men's souls. It was designed to allow citizens to live free.
We cannot force citizens to do what Washington advises — learn and be guided by scripture.
What's the alternative?
One is to forget it and let people do what they want. Let women fend for themselves when beastly predators with money and power threaten them.
Few will accept this option.
Alternatively, we can have politicians design our rules. But can this work? Without guidelines of scripture, how do we discern right and wrong, acceptable and forbidden?
This is the trend that has been going on for years. The less we self-govern through eternal Biblical truths, learned at home and at school, the more we grow government to control our lives.
In response to sexual harassment violations perpetrated by some members of Congress, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock has introduced a congressional resolution requiring "all House Members, Officers, employees, including interns, detailees, and fellows, of the House of Representatives shall complete an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training program during each session of Congress."
Surely, similar programs will be popping up across the industry. So instead of our workforce developing new and better products, more of their time will be spent sitting in anti-harassment training sessions, learning rules designed by bureaucrats.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University published a report last year on the costs to our economy of the vast growth in the regulatory state from 1977 to 2012. The study concludes that accumulated regulatory growth reduced the size of the American economy in 2012 by 25 percent — $4 trillion of what it might have been.
Aside from economic costs, what are the human costs of our lives increasingly being controlled by bureaucrats?
According to research from Stanford University, 10 percent of married couples meet at work. So much for this, as men will fear giving a woman a second glance at work, let alone saying or doing anything that might hint he's attracted to her.
I see only one viable path to a healthy, free nation. Choose to heed the wisdom of our first president.

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November 22, 2017 | Star Parker | Syndicated Nationally by Creators


Voters sense they have been shut out of their own country, that Washington politics is now a spectator sport, where voters have as much influence on what is happening on the field as they have when they watch an NFL game, helped elect Trump.

A group of 44 conservative leaders have sent a letter to all members of Congress that might be called a conservative wake-up call.
The group represents, through their various organizations, a broad array of conservative concerns. But they boil it all down to three areas that all agree need immediate legislative action.
Tax reform, which currently is in the pipeline. Bolstering our defense budget. And getting the federal budget in order through fiscal restraint.
The point these conservatives wish to drive home to Congress is that Donald Trump's election in 2016 was not just an anti-establishment vote. It was a vote to push a crucial agenda, on which he ran, for getting out nation back toward founding principles.
If Congress fails to deliver this essential agenda, say these conservatives, raw dissatisfaction with Washington could well drive unhappy voters apathetically back home, relinquishing power to the left. This might explain Democratic victories in the most recent elections, and particularly the defeat of Republican Ed Gillespie in the race for governor in Virginia.
Gallup polls each month ask Americans, "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?"
No. 1 on the list for the last several months running is "dissatisfaction with government."
Similarly, a recent study from Harvard Business School focuses on dysfunction in Washington and how it is driving widespread public dissatisfaction.
Pew Research polling, cited in this study, shows that only 20 percent of Americans "trust the federal government always or most of the time." For some perspective on how we've changed, in the early 1960s, more than 70 percent of Americans expressed trust in the federal government.
The Harvard study sums up what is driving disaffection among the voting public. "The real problem is that our political system is no longer designed to serve the public interest, and has been slowly reconfigured to benefit the private interests of gain-seeking private organizations: the political parties and their industry allies."
Hence, the sentiment to elect an "outsider" like Trump to "drain the swamp."
Donald Trump is the fifth American president to never have had held prior elective office. But he is the first to never have served in any public office. Three of the five, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower were generals. Herbert Hoover was a businessman, but he had been head of the U.S. Food Administration and was Secretary of Commerce before being elected president.
Donald Trump is the first American president with zero prior experience in public life. He was elected as a true outsider.
A sense among voters that they have been shut out of their own country, that Washington politics is now a spectator sport, where voters have as much influence on what is happening on the field as they have when they watch an NFL game, helped elect Trump.
Conservative leaders want to convey that the political capital of this dissatisfaction is short lived. Trump voters are looking for the agenda.
Fortunately, the president can still move things forward administratively. And, indeed, the Trump administration is getting high grades for deregulation on a broad front. This is helping to drive the current economic recovery.
But Congress needs to get into the fray.
We still need to fix health care. The Congressional Budget Office notes the dangers of our national debt, which now hovers around 100 percent of our GDP.
With Speaker Paul Ryan's leadership, the House has just passed critically important tax reform. Now Senate leadership must herd the cats and get this passed. This first sweeping tax reform in over 30 years is vital for an economy looking for oxygen.
The election of Donald Trump was a political event without precedent in our nation's history. Conservative leaders are sounding the alarm in Washington, reminding Congress what the 2016 election meant. And that the clock is ticking.

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November 14, 2017 | Star Parker | Syndicated Nationally by Creators


Envy doesn't create wealth. Freedom and character does.

A new study released by the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., headlines what they see as shocking news that in America some people are much wealthier than others.
Some findings of the study, entitled "Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us," are:
— "The three wealthiest people in the United States — Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett — now own more wealth than the entire bottom half of the American population."
— The 400 billionaires on the Forbes 400 list "now own more wealth than the bottom 64 percent of the American population."
— "One in five US households ...have zero or negative net worth. Over 30 percent of black households and 27 percent of Latino households have zero or negative net worth."
The message that IPS wishes to convey here is that there's a connection between wealth at the top and dismal economic circumstances at the bottom. That is, the poor are poor because the rich are rich.
Their proposed solution for narrowing the gap between rich and poor follows this premise. The way to make the poor less poor, in their view, is to make the rich less rich. And, of course, they propose to do this with government power. "By taxing our wealthiest, we could raise significant revenues and then invest these funds to expand wealth-building opportunities across the economy."
If we accept the questionable assumption that higher taxes on the wealthy would raise "significant revenues," who exactly, according to their plan, would invest these funds to produce all these new opportunities?
Those with the greatest investment skills are those on the Forbes 400 list, who the IPS sees as the problem and who they want to punish for being successful.
So in all likelihood it's a government bureaucrat that they want to put in charge of making these brilliant "wealth-building" investments.
But bureaucrats would not be bureaucrats if they knew how to invest and create wealth. We've been through this before — the list of failed government projects is long. Recall most recently the Solyndra scandal — the failed solar panel firm backed by the Obama administration — leaving taxpayers on the hook for $535 million in federal guarantees.
Who are these billionaires on the Forbes 400 list? Joshua Rauh of the Stanford University School of Business and Steven Kaplan of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business studied the list.
In 2011, 32 percent came from wealthy families, compared to 60 percent in 1982. And in 2011, 69 percent started their own businesses compared to 40 percent in 1982. So these are increasingly individuals who created their own wealth.
And the fact is, the wealthy already pay the lion's share of the nation's taxes, and this has increased over time.
According to the Tax Foundation, in 2014, those whose incomes were in the top 1 percent paid 39.5 percent of all taxes. In 1982, the top 1 percent paid 19 percent of all taxes. Raising taxes more on the highest income earners will benefit tax lawyers and lobbyists and do little for the rest of us.
Envy doesn't create wealth. Freedom and character does. How about we focus less on punishing those who succeed and more on helping those who are not realizing their potential?
Harvard economist Martin Feldstein estimates that cutting corporates taxes would raise national income by $500 billion — $3,500 per household. I say we cut them even more for businesses opening in distressed communities.
Let's admit that our massive welfare state has been a disaster. I have long been for allowing low-income Americans to stop paying the payroll tax and instead use these funds to invest in a personal retirement account to build personal wealth.
These are just starters. We should be looking for ideas to bring up the bottom. Not dragging down the top.

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November 7, 2017 | Star Parker | Syndicated Nationally by Creators

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