Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The liberals ignore the truth about tax cuts

My wife called me at work not long after President Trump signed the Republican tax bill into law. She asked me if we would be getting a tax cut or a tax hike. It was an interesting question, and one for which I did not have an answer. There are myriad tax calculators that have popped up since the tax bill debate began. I hadn’t used any of them.

I’m not faulting you if you have. It’s only natural to be curious about how such a massive overhaul will affect you. The question is does that determine your support or opposition to the new law? It shouldn’t.

There’s a fundamental question that needs to be asked. Does our tax system maximize our economy, or is it a drag on economic prosperity? How it affects each of us personally is inconsequential. The answer to that question is this tax law goes a long way in stimulating an economy that has been, until Trump won the presidential election, sluggish. The stimulation since the election has been running on anticipation. That anticipation only takes an economy so far until hope turns to disappointment and the economy falters again.

Now the economy has something concrete to believe in. Companies like AT&T and Comcast immediately announced rank-and-file end-of-the-year bonuses. Other companies launched plans for massive expansion and infusion of cash into the economy.

Try as they may to pit all classes against the rich, posted graphs that told the true story. The people who would be paying the largest percentage of tax hikes were those making more than $1 million per year. The vast majority of taxpayers, even the rich, would get a tax cut.

Of course, it’s the rich on whom the liberals always concentrate. What these same liberals don’t tell you is the rich pay most of the taxes. They lament the fact that those making $20,000 or less get the smallest tax cut. Most of those people don’t pay taxes at all anyway. Hard to give someone a tax break when they don’t pay taxes. 

What really grinds the gears of the leftists is the corporate tax reduction. That corporate tax is cut from 35 percent to 21 percent. They drone on about the “rich corporations” like they’re some individual fat cat who’s going to skate. Taxes are simply another business expense to a corporation. Cut taxes and you cut expenses. Cut expenses and chances are you’ll see prices go down. Liberals seem to understand this concept when it comes to gasoline costs. They talk about how higher prices at the pump will translate into higher prices at the grocery store. The same principle applies to the high cost of taxes.

But let’s assume the liberals are right and these evil corporations will simply take that tax break and give it to their rich CEOs. Those CEOs will pay taxes on that money at a rate of 37 percent in addition to the corporate rate of 21 percent. Liberals should be happy, but, as we know, they seldom are. And as we’ve seen, corporations are already passing along the windfall to their employees and reinvesting in the company. That should convert even the most ardent skeptic. Only those who are purely political can witness that and remain unswayed.

How does the new GOP tax law affect you personally? Whether you get a direct tax cut or not is inconsequential. What matters is a rising tide lifts all boats. No matter what floats your boat politically this tax cut will be good for us all.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Unraveling the conspiracy at the FBI

I wrote in this space two weeks ago that what we were witnessing was nothing short of an attempted coup. Some thought that was simply hyperbole. Now we’re seeing the ugly underbelly of the entrenched bureaucracy in Washington, DC.

Peter Strzok, the now disgraced FBI agent who seemed to be trying to cook the presidential election last year, has been outed for the political hack he is. How he’s still employed with the Bureau is anyone’s guess. He sent a text message to his mistress, an FBI lawyer, regarding a comment she apparently made in Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s office claiming there was no way Trump could win the election. “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office—that there’s no way he gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

What the “insurance policy” was is the subject of much speculation, but it seems obvious it’s the Trump dossier the FBI got from Fusion GPS, a company hired by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats to dig up dirt on Trump. Colluding with Democrats to bring down a sitting president is nothing short of a coup.

Strzok will tell you he was only doing what’s best for the country. That’s what they all say. Watergate was all about a break-in to ensure George McGovern didn’t become president—for the good of the country. Governments are toppled in the name of what’s good for the country. What’s not good for the country is a handful of rogue FBI employees toppling the duly elected president “for the good of the country.”

This calls into question the entire Mueller investigation. It’s all predicated on work done by the FBI, an FBI we now know had a political agenda. We’ll have to see where this leads us, but it appears Mr. Strzok and possibly others at the FBI may be guilty of treason and sedition. Those are serious charges but these are serious actions. If people inside the FBI were conspiring to remove Trump from office then what else would one call it? And we know Mr. Strzok was a Hillary partisan in charge of investigating her e-mail scandal. He changed James Comey’s now-famous statement regarding Hillary’s actions from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” As you’ll recall, Comey let Hillary off the hook.

It was Peter Strzok who interviewed Hillary and her aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. We know Mills and Abedin lied to the FBI, something that got Mike Flynn in a lot of hot water. Mills and Abedin skated. Why weren’t they prosecuted like Flynn?

The irony is the FBI launched an investigation to discover if the Russians colluded with Trump to influence the election when it was they who were doing the colluding and influencing. It was the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse. And what’s also ironic is the investigation that so many on the left have been cheering may very well be the investigation that brings down the Clinton machine within the FBI. It may also bring down Hillary herself.

Once we fully understand the lengths to which Hillary supporters inside the FBI went to get her elected, the appetite of the American people may very well change. It was Hillary who was colluding with a foreign agent to change the outcome of the election. Christopher Steele is a British citizen. Paying a foreign entity for opposition research in an election is against the law. It’s time the American people were told the truth.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sexual harassment—To believe or not believe

Well, since my column on the shelf life of outrage we’ve seen two congressmen and a senator go down in flames. The most bizarre involved now-former Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona who had discussions with female staffers about surrogacy. At least one of the staffers took it as a proposition for sex. Franks denied that charge but resigned anyway.

We’ve had several in public broadcasting either suspended while allegations are investigated or outright fired. Hollywood is embroiled in an almost daily scandal of sexual harassment or sexual assault. The harassment plague has spilled over into TV news. Our senior research analyst joked that there was going to be no one left in Congress to pass laws but no one left on television to cover it.

But what of those who vehemently deny the accusations? Roy Moore of Alabama is forever tainted by scurrilous allegations by two women who have been discredited. Most people never heard about the checkered pasts of the accusers or the tremendous holes in their stories. I’ve often told you that media bias is not what they tell you, it’s more what they don’t.

Now that the Alabama special election is behind us, we need to have a collective discussion as a nation. The basic cornerstone of American jurisprudence is “innocent until proven guilty.” Unfortunately, there is no due process in a public lynching. 

Members of the House and Senate now want ethics investigations for members based on accusations that sometimes date back 40 years. I wonder how many lawmakers will survive that scrutiny if it’s meted out even-handedly. I can’t imagine that any of them have nothing to hide. You know what they say about people who live in glass houses.

Two people who have built a glass high-rise are Mika and Joe from MSNBC’s Morning Joe. They sit each morning in judgement of every sex scandal that comes down the pike while, according to various news reports, they carried on a years-long adulterous affair until they were outed by the National Enquirer.

Recently I had the misfortune of sitting in front of Megyn Kelly’s sinking talk show on NBC while waiting for my car to be washed. She had three Trump sexual assault accusers on. One was the infamous woman from first class who claims Trump groped her on a flight from Houston to New York. She said he never said a word to her. He just started rubbing his hands all over her and putting his hand up her skirt. She claims she jumped up in disgust and stormed to the back of the plane for the remainder of the flight. Several witnesses who remember sitting near Trump on the plane have come forward to say they saw nothing unusual.

As if to double down on the story, the woman claims an encounter with Trump years later. She says she was working a fundraiser for the Humane Society when Trump approached the table for his tickets with his first wife, Ivana. She claims Trump recognized her and said, “Hey, you’re that c@*# from the plane!” Even if we were to believe Trump groped a woman on a plane it’s highly unlikely that he would instantly recognize her after just a couple of minutes of groping. It’s also impossible to believe that he would call her out in front of his wife.

But it doesn’t matter how incredible the accusation. We’re told we must believe the woman. That is, as Mika said one morning, unless the accuser voted for Trump. In that case, they must be totally discounted. So goes justice.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Hillary moles in the FBI

For as long as the Russia probe has been going on Donald Trump has called it a ‘witch hunt.’ Like most things the president says, it appears he’s been proven right yet again. Peter Strzok, who was benched in August for anti-Trump texts to his mistress, seems to be the Forrest Gump of the FBI. When Hillary and her top aides were being interviewed it was Strzok. When the FBI used the “Steele dossier” as a pretext to investigate a Trump/Russia connection it was at the urging of Strzok. When Bob Mueller needed a point man on his own Russia investigation it was Strzok. When Mike Flynn was trapped by the FBI once again it was Strzok.

He seemed to conveniently find himself in a position of influence each and every time he could either fan the flames of hysteria over Russia or bail out Hillary and her compatriots. Remember when James Comey changed his characterization of Hillary’s private server use from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless?” That was Peter Strzok.

When he interviewed Huma Abedin she denied any knowledge of Hillary’s private server set-up. Cheryl Mills claimed she didn’t even know what a server was. However, e-mails release by the State Department show both women referred specifically to Hillary’s server. Were they arrested? Were they forced to sell their homes like Flynn to cover their legal costs? No. They walked. Not even a hint that they had committed a crime, when they had committed a far more egregious crime than Flynn.

And then there’s the matter of Strzok’s extramarital affair with Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer. Time was when the bureau would dismiss employees for such conduct. Apparently if you’re not sacked for being a political operative then cheating has to be small potatoes.

I hate to think that the FBI as an organization has sunk to such a level, but it sure appears they have a serious managerial problem. I long gave James Comey the benefit of the doubt. No more. Not only did he take it upon himself to let Hillary off the hook, he appears to have been part of a conspiracy to get Bob Mueller named as the special counsel.

Comey has admitted that he leaked private conversations with President Trump in hopes that a special counsel would be named. With AG Jeff Sessions having already given notice that he would recuse himself from any investigation into either Trump or Hillary, Comey knew the decision would fall to Rod Rosenstein. As it turns out, Rosenstein and Mueller have a history.

When Mueller ran the FBI he knew of the Uranium One scandal. Russian officials were engaged in bribery and we now know that Mueller’s FBI had uncovered it. They investigated for more than four years without notifying the public or even Congress. Still, the Uranium One deal was allowed to go forward unfettered. The U.S. attorney who supervised that investigation was Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee.

Isn’t it ironic that two of the men involved with investigating Trump for collusion with the Russians also knew about Russian bribery during the Obama administration? Irony or careful planning? 

This is like an episode of the TV drama ’24.’ There was always a mole inside the machinery. In this case, there appear to be several. Rosenstein and Mueller have every reason to recuse themselves from the Russia investigation yet the only one to actually do it was Jeff Sessions. And he was the only man who would’ve actually gotten to the truth. What we’re now witnessing is nothing short of an attempted coup.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.