Saturday, March 30, 2019

Zawistowski Rights A Wrong



The little Pink House in New London was moved to another location after a long, unsuccessful protest by its owner, property rights advocate Susette Kelo. The property upon which it rested was seized by eminent domain so that it could be made available to Pfizer Inc. It was a rare seizure. Usually, property seized under eminent domain is made available for some public purpose. In Kelo, the Fort Trumbull Property was transferred from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. The property was seized by the state because New London wished to induce Pfizer to set up shop on the property. Pfizer moved on; nature soon reclaimed the vacant property.

Kelo lost her battle when the US Supreme Court shamelessly decided in favor of the City of New London, Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005).

The case produced two notable dissents, one written by Justice O'Connor, joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia and Thomas, and a separate, originalist dissent written by Thomas.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Real Cost Of Tax Increases


Arguing against a legislatively imposed minimum wage increase, Brian Jessurun, co-owner of four northeastern Connecticut restaurants, writes in an op-ed in a Hartford paper: “By all accepted accounting metrics, this state is virtually bankrupt. Reputable estimates place Connecticut’s unfunded liability debt at $70,000 per taxpayer, more than many of them have set aside for their own retirements. The only chance we have of getting out from under that burden is a burst of prolonged prosperity, which would increase state revenues without significantly increasing the taxes that are already driving away job creating businesses and tax paying residents.”

At last, some readers of the paper in which the op-ed appeared might exclaim – light!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Blumenthal As Trump’s Victim


CTMirror tells us that President Donald Trump has “attacked the credibility of Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal and several other Democrats, warning television networks against booking them on their news shows.”
                              
Tim Murtaugh, spokesman for the Trump campaign, wrote to the television networks, “You should begin by asking the basic question: Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past? Murtaugh pointed to “reckless” and “outlandish, false claims” made by Blumenthal; among them “was Blumenthal’s statement in October on MSNBC that ‘the evidence is pretty clear that there was collision between the Trump campaign and the Russians.’”

Monday, March 25, 2019

Blumenthal, Mueller and Trump



“The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/ Gang aft a-gley” -- Robert Burns

We can no longer pretend, after the release of Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the findings of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation, that the more important findings mean nothing at all and may be safely ignored.

The leaders of what Victor David Hanson called back in February a “dead coup” will of course seek to minimize the import of the concluded investigation in their rush to continue their coup. However, without scouring the details of the investigation, two things are indisputable: 1) that Mueller’s two year probe is over —future indictments are not in the offing -- and 2) that Mueller did not cite anyone in the Trump administration, including the president himself, with conspiracy, a crime, or collusion with the Putin regime in Russia to win an election against then Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

Mueller’s two year investigation has been both exhaustive and exhausting. It unfolded under the dread suspicion, promoted by Democrats, that Trump would try to interfere with Mueller’s efforts, a suspicion that has proven to be a mole hill blown up to mountainous proportions by friends of Hillary Clinton such as Connecticut U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Taxing Sin: We Are All Sinners Now


When a dollar moves from a private wallet to a public treasury, it is a tax.

This year will be a tax bonanza for Governor Ned Lamont’s administration. Some projected tax increases have not yet been written in legislative stone, but it is possible that tax increases in the Lamont administration may exceed those of the preceding administration. Malloy raised taxes in two installments during his two terms in office; taken together, his two tax increases may represent the largest tax boost of any administration in state history. Malloy’s low approval rating upon leaving office – 25 percent -- is traceable to tax impositions, a bristly, autocratic character, and the failure of his policies to stem chronic deficits.

The above definition of a tax allows us to regard the elimination of tax credits and the extension of taxes to other goods and services as tax increases. Business taxes, as we know, are transferred to consumers in the form of higher prices for goods and services; business taxes therefore are ultimately consumption taxes. The illusion that businesses pay taxes is an imposture that figures greatly in the propaganda of progressives who imagine they are doing a favor for the middle class by taxing companies. Tolls are taxes. Legislative raids on so called dedicated funds and lock-boxes represent, in the long run, tax increases, because the raided funds must be replenished sometime in the future. Bonding is the taxation of future taxpayers.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Politics In The Dark



Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman -- Louis Brandeis

And, Brandeis continued, “Selfishness, injustice, cruelty, tricks and jobs of all sorts shun the light; to expose them is to defeat them. No serious evils, no rankling sore in the body politic, can remain long concealed, and when disclosed, it is half destroyed.”

Brandeis’ notion has long since become the anthem of modern journalism, properly practiced. Political trickery flourishes in the dark. The magician must shroud his trick in half light and distraction to pull the rabbit out of his hat. Journalism, properly practiced, is the sworn enemy of secret cabals.

Monday, March 11, 2019

How to Destroy Representative Government


The Yankee Institute once again is ringing an alarm bell, this time over a tolling bill crafted by the Connecticut Transportation Committee (DOT) that “contains a provision which allows a tolling proposal by the Connecticut Department of Transportation to pass without a vote by the legislature.” This is not the first time the Democrat dominated General Assembly sought to escape its constitutional obligation to vote on every dollar it raises or expends.

Under the terms of  Raised Bill 7280, “the General Assembly will have only 15 days to vote on tolling recommendations from the Connecticut Department of Transportation after an informational hearing, otherwise the tolling proposal will pass and be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration,” according to the Yankee Institute.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Enfield Republican Town Committee Address for Lincoln Day Dinner

Be The Storm

I’d like to thank Mary Ann Turner, the Chairman of the Enfield Republican Town Committee, for inviting me here today. It’s a pleasure to be with you. Enfield, everyone in the room may know, was the place where prominent theologian Jonathan Edwards delivered his “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” sermon. The sermon provided one of the sparks that lit the spiritual conflagration later called “The Great Awakening” and was  so fearful and effective a sermon that people in the pews broke out in tears. I think I can assure everyone in the room that my keynote may not have a similar effect.

Republicans have just been through a bruising election. I’d like to touch very gently on a few sore topics, but we don’t want to end up at a funeral here. Mark Twain, asked if he had attended the funeral of a man he intensely disliked, replied – No, I didn’t. But I sent along a message to the grief stricken that I heartily approved of the ceremony.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Lavielle On The Art Of Sausage Making



State Representative Gail Lavielle, one of the more thoughtful and business-like legislators in Connecticut’s democracy-averse General Assembly, recently gave on Facebook a painfully accurate overview of how legislation is made.

One of her constituents was wondering in what coffin the “regionalization/redistricting proposals will be buried” before the vampire is resurrected at the last moment to become, as Otto von Bismarck used to say, law.  Scholars are now quibbling over attribution, but Bismarck easily could have said, “Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made.” And indeed, there are sausage-makers in the General Assembly, the majority of them Democrat, who do not want the general public to see how laws are made.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Lamont’s Big Sticks



“Government… is force” George Washington

At least one Connecticut Journalist, Kevin Rennie in the Hartford Courant, believes that Governor Ned Lamont’s poorly concealed campaign lies concerning truck-only tolls will haunt him during his entire term or terms, as the case may be, in office.

“This [the campaign flip-flop] raises some long-term worries,” Rennie writes, “about Lamont’s ability to lead. Lamont may have surrounded himself with people who do not understand that the public sees campaign promises as something more than gossamer thoughts. Just as troubling is the prospect that there is no one around the Greenwich millionaire who could persuade him that abandoning a key campaign promise 38 days into his administration would inflict lasting damage on him. He will no longer be believed — a crippling wound for any governor.”