URLs du Jour

2021-04-05

[Amazon Link]

  • Surprisingly, None Mentioning China. Mollie Hemingway offers Questions The Media Should Ask President Biden On Georgia Voting Law. Here's one:

    Q: Seeing that over the past year, almost 50 percent of small, black-owned business in America have closed for good and seeing how African Americans make up 55 percent of Atlanta, 54 percent of Savannah, and 55 percent of Augusta (where The Masters is played), does President Biden still think calling for an economic boycott and punishment by private companies on all Georgia citizens is a good idea? And will he now call for boycotts of The Masters, the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Atlanta Hawks along with UGA & GA Tech. football? Why or why not?

    Gotcha questions, all. Perhaps Joe could take some pointers from the next item…


  • How To Bedazzle with Bullshit. At the (probably paywalled) WSJ, Andy Kessler points with admiration to the rhetorical stylings of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: How to Answer the ‘Trap Question’. An interviewer asked the "responsibility of the corporations" on matters of "racial justice".

    Mr. Nadella isn’t CEO of a trillion-dollar company for nothing. Coolly and calmly, he explained that “the social purpose of a company is to find profitable solutions to the challenges of people and planet,” crediting Oxford economist Colin Mayer for the definition. “Driving broad economic growth is perhaps the biggest thing that a company can do,” Mr. Nadella added. “In order to have the pie distributed evenly, the pie should first grow.” Left unsaid is the pie should never stop growing.

    Mr. Nadella’s comeback was the best misdirect to the trap question I’ve ever heard. Every CEO should pay attention. Mr. Mayer’s definition of corporate purpose as finding “profitable solutions” is—shh, don’t give it away—basically the same as Milton Friedman’s “the social responsibility of business is to increase profits,” except with the crowd-pleasing word “planet” tacked on. The definition was even part of the agenda of the World Economic Forum, making it suitable for John Kerryish globalists everywhere. Write it with a Sharpie inside every CEO’s eyelids for future reference. The answer is brilliant.

    Fortunately for capitalism, I was never on the corporate executive path.


  • Frankenstein Also Criticized His Monster. Kevin D. Williamson gets a chuckle out of politicians pretending to not know what they've done in the past. Corporate Tax Breaks: Democrats Criticize Policies They Created.

    Here is a tragicomedy in three parts:

    1. Politicians enact tax credit that benefits Corporation X.
    2. Corporation X accepts tax credit.
    3. Politicians are scandalized by Corporation X’s tax filings.

    The New York Times is inviting its readers to be shocked and appalled by the fact that dozens of big companies have paid no federal business-income tax over the past three years in spite of taking in lots of money. At the top of its naughty list is Duke Energy, which made just under $8 billion over the past three years and had an effective corporate income-tax rate of . . . negative 15.5 percent. One big reason for that is green-energy subsidies of the kind proposed by the very same progressives who complain about the tax bills of companies such as Duke. Duke benefited from “bonus depreciation” arrangements that reward green-energy investments. As Duke points out in the Times report, that doesn’t actually eliminate Duke’s tax liability, but only defers it, leaving Duke with some $9 billion on its tax tab that will have to be paid at some point in the future.

    It should come as no surprise that when Uncle Stupid starts turning on the money gusher, there will be plenty of folks waiting with big buckets to catch as much as they can, by fair means or foul.


  • But Those Are Our Loopholes. George F. Will pleads for a dietary restriction: Democrats, don't pass the SALT. It's actually about Biden's bad proposal to increase the corporate income tax. And what might it take to get that to happen?

    [… I]n order to get enough House Democrats to support the foolishness of increased corporate taxation, the Biden administration might have to endorse repealing something intelligent from 2017. Republicans then imposed a $10,000 cap on deductions of state and local taxes (SALT) by individuals filing their federal income taxes. An uncapped SALT deduction would almost entirely benefit very wealthy taxpayers in high-tax states and cities, and subsidize the growth of state and local governments by somewhat reducing resistance to their taxes.

    For 90 years, the Democratic Party has been devoted to government growth, and is increasingly the party of the wealthy. Repeal of the SALT deduction cap would give those in the bottom half of income distribution a tax cut of, on average, at most $1, but an average tax cut of $23,500 for the top 1%, and $145,000 for the top 0.1%. The average middle-class family would get about $27.

    Democrats bemoan previous GOP-favored tax cuts as "giveaways to the rich" sometimes in the same breath as demanding SALT cap repeal. That's pretty amazing; this publication from the Congressional Research Service estimates that 71% of the "SALT benefit" went to taxpayers with over $200K Adjusted Gross Income in 2017.

    I assume (however) that what blue-state pols really resent is that it inhibits their ability to raise state and local taxes, since after a certain point their own taxpayers have to bear the entire burden, rather than shuffling it off to the other states.