Oh, the Humanity!

[crash and burn] Briefly noted:

  • Jacob Sullum provides another reason to pass the popcorn: Democrats May Regret Compromising Taxpayer Privacy to Get Trump: The Release of the Former President's Tax Returns Sets a Dangerous Precedent.

    It took more than three years for House Democrats to obtain Donald Trump's federal income tax returns, which they released to the public last Friday. That effort also required setting a dangerous precedent that threatens the privacy of Democrats as well as Republicans.

    Every president since Jimmy Carter has voluntarily released his tax returns. Trump's defiance of that tradition provoked much criticism and invited speculation about what he might be hiding. But federal law generally protects the confidentiality of information that Americans are legally required to share with the IRS.

    Democrats found a way around that obstacle by invoking a provision of the Internal Revenue Code that authorizes the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to request "any return or return information." In April 2019, the committee's chairman, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), sought tax returns for then-President Trump and several of his businesses.

    Jacob outlines the dance of legalities in which Neal and the Biden Administration engaged to get the Trump returns out there. And the implicit message is: if your political enemies get their hands on the right governmental levers, it could happen to anyone. And, now, probably will.

  • But do those tax returns imply any wisdom? Vero de Rugy says they could but so far aren't: Trump's Tax Returns Spur the Wrong Policy Debate.

    The recent release of former President Donald Trump's tax returns has triggered two seemingly contradictory reactions. Some people are eager to point out that considering his many heavy losses, Trump might not be as good as legend has it at turning profits. On the other hand, other folks complain about just how few actual dollars Trump paid in taxes.

    There is an obvious connection between these different interpretations. Once again, we have evidence of just how poorly many Americans grasp basic tax facts.

    Now, I agree that our tax system should be revamped. This system is a nightmare of double taxation of income and grotesque horizontal inequities in which — thanks to a labyrinth of politically motivated tax breaks and credits — taxpayers earning the same incomes don't pay the same amount of taxes. The result is a system that penalizes work, saving and investment and in turn dampens economic growth.

    Click over for Vero's suggestions. Here's the most important: "first and foremost eliminate all tax breaks and other preferences that tilt the playing field in favor of politically connected interest groups."

  • Hugo Gurdon of the Washington Examiner made the mistake of listening to Commie Radio. His alternate name is… National Progressive Radio strikes again.

    NPR’s Morning Edition ran a segment on Monday that perfectly encapsulated the broadcaster’s left-wing assumptions, its determination to spread them, the contemptuous betrayal of its mission to represent varied views, and its modus operandi camouflaging propaganda as news.

    It’s worth documenting periodically lest we forget that this bias and lack of intellectual curiosity offers a skewed view of important issues and derogates what the national broadcaster is for. We should not sink into oblivious resignation. The segment, from national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson, concerned President Joe Biden outpacing his predecessors in appointing judges and, in doing so, reshaping the federal bench. It’s a vital subject on which a news organization with pretensions to public service (using taxpayer money it describes as "essential" to operations) has a duty to be balanced. Instead, all four people quoted in the piece were from the Left and pursued the same narrative. Two were Biden employees.

    Details at the link. I'm not sure why anyone listens to NPR other than leftists who want to reinforce their priors.

  • Christian Britschgi breaks out the world's smallest violin for our wannabe rulers: 'Working Class' Reps Say They Can't Afford D.C. Rents While Earning $174,000 a Year.

    Amongst the incoming 118th Congress are several freshmen progressive representatives who say that having to spend their $174,000 congressional salary on housing in the District is not just difficult but a deliberate effort to exclude them from the government.

    "For those of us who are working-class, this is yet another reminder that this place wasn't designed for people who actually represent their communities," said freshman Rep. Delia Ramirez (D–Ill.) to The Cut yesterday.

    Ramirez—herself a homeowner and landlord back in her district—said that D.C.'s housing costs are so high that she's had to give up on her plan of renting an apartment by herself. Instead, she is splitting the $3,000 rent on a Capitol Hill rowhouse with another congresswoman.

    Some CongressCritters are beyond embarrassment.

Last Modified 2024-01-30 6:53 AM EST