If there’s one thing to be learned from the presidency of Bill Clinton, it was this theme: “It’s the economy stupid.”
Facing big issues that resulted from his lack of moral character, he pivoted and put the focus on economic growth. Nowadays, many fail to realize that after his first midterm electoral loss, Bill Clinton abandoned the progressive socialist agenda and worked with the GOP majorities in the House and Senate.
What Clinton came to realize was that if the American people felt prosperity, his personal failings and shortcomings would mean little.
And history seems to agree with that assessment, since we all know that Bill Clinton was an immoral person. But after all, “it’s the economy stupid.” The GOP’s articles of impeachment meant nothing.
And so it is today, as reported by Fox Business News:
“The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the second quarter, notching its quickest pace in more than two years, and there are signs that the momentum was sustained at the start of the third quarter. Gross domestic product increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate in the April-June period, the Commerce Department said in its second estimate on Wednesday. The upward revision from the 2.6 percent pace reported last month reflected robust consumer spending as well as strong business investment.
Growth last quarter was the strongest since the first quarter of 2015 and followed a 1.2 percent pace in the January-March period. Economists polled by Reuters had expected that second-quarter GDP growth would be raised to a 2.7 percent rate. Retail sales and business spending data so far suggest the economy maintained its stamina early in the third quarter. Strong growth and a labor market that is near full employment support views the Federal Reserve will lay out a plan to start unwinding its $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities next month and increase interest rates in December.”
We also know that our employment situation in America has been at an all-time high for the past sixteen years. This is the result of an atmosphere and environment that encourages economic growth.
Sure, there hasn’t been any major legislative accomplishment when it comes to fiscal, economic or tax issues. What has occurred is a reprieve from the onerous regulatory environment that demonized our American businesses and financial institutions. And there’s a hope — a belief that the right and necessary fiscal and tax reforms will come, and be made retroactive.
We’ve been under years of Federal Reserve monetary policy known as “quantitative easing” that used measures such as printing money and the manipulation of interest rates — lowering them — in order to stimulate a failing economy. But many of us couldn’t believe that 1% GDP growth was the new normal for the American economy.
Now we’re seeing record numbers in the major economic indices, but this can easily reverse if the requisite economic and tax reforms aren’t enacted.
Today, President Trump will be in Missouri to deliver an address on what should be tax reform, not just “tax cuts.” And whatever is done can’t be a Band-aid on a sucking chest wound. This has to be something done permanently and lasting, something that will enable our private sector to plan, forecast and thrive.
And in the aftermath of an epic flood of Biblical proportion in America’s fourth largest city, and our country’s second-largest state — a region in which a vital portion of our economy, the energy sector, is centered — we need a dedicated focus on infrastructure.
As Congress returns to “work” from their well-deserved recess or vacation — yes, I’m being facetious — they should quickly pass a capital repatriation bill. This bill should focus on the trillions of dollars of capital outside of America. There should be an 8-10% repatriation tax rate, retroactive to January 1, 2017, for this capital to return to America.
This should be in effect for this entire year, with the subsequent corporate business tax rate being stabilized at a flat tax rate of 15%, effective January 1, 2018.
Eliminate the massive special interest deductions and exemptions; just enact a simple flat tax. I’m sure y’all know we have the highest corporate business tax rate in the world at this time, and that’s anti-business. Needless to say, the revenues generated from the repatriation tax policy should be targeted for infrastructure, and on top of that list should be the Houston area.
But today, we also need to hear what shall be done for small businesses and their tax rates, which for sub-chapter S corporations and LLCs is based on their personal income tax rate. I would hope we finally realize that our small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we lower their tax to 15% as well — not the onerous 30%+ tax rate they currently face.
President Trump and the GOP need to reduce the capital gains and dividend tax rates, too; my recommendation is a return to Reagan-era levels. The death tax must be eliminated, and we need to reduce the incredible seven tax brackets down to two — certainly not more than three.
And everyone must have a part in this, with brackets between 10-25%; I find the desire to have tax bracket above 25%, and certainly 30%, to be insidious. We only need two personal deductions, charitable contributions and mortgage interest.
But, the sad reality is that Washington, D.C., will trot out their normal rhetorical concerns about “revenue neutrality,” meaning that they believe letting Americans keep more of their money has detrimental effects on the deficit. If the Congress would only put more importance on making this tax package “deficit neutral,” the robber barons of Washington, D.C., would curtail their wasteful spending and eliminate the baseline budgeting process in which Congress increases spending each year.
We can maintain the momentum in our economy, but it’s contingent on folks in D.C. doing what’s right by the people, not themselves, not some ideological agenda, and not special interests. And healthcare reform is important as well, since there are twenty new taxes in Obamacare.
My message to the progressive socialists of the Democrat party: Learn a lesson from the Clinton presidency. Ranting about the first lady’s shoes, Russia and impeachment isn’t a winning strategy; “it’s the economy stupid.” If you seek to stymie these tax and economic growth reforms, you’ll be cast upon the ash heap of history.
To the House and Senate GOP: This isn’t hard; you shouldn’t have taken 40-some days off, and this should have been done back in March. If you fail to deliver, you’ll face many a primary challenge from true constitutional conservatives who will “git er done”.
After all, “it’s the economy stupid.”
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]