Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, June 23, 2024
ISSUE #1212
The Biden-Trump Debate. Loan Transfer. Tips and Tariffs. Building Pipelines.

The Biden-Trump debate will be this week, June 27, on CNN. President Biden is spending all week preparing. As President he has access to a lot more details than Trump. His staff are feeding him a lot of specific numbers, such as the price of eggs, gasoline, insulin, and rent. He will memorize data about the economy, global warming, immigration, Covid deaths, January 6, Ukraine, Israel, China and Russia. Regardless of the question asked, he is advised to insert “Trump” and “Convicted Felon” into his answer. Don’t be surprised if he starts an answer with, “Jake, where did that question come from?” He might reply to Trump, “There you go, you keep lying about my record and now you lied about yours.”

His debate coaches fear he will mix up millions, billions and trillions, and that he will absentmindedly switch to a story about his childhood. He is even practicing standing behind a lectern for 90 minutes, without wandering off.

Meanwhile, Trump is receiving a lot of advice, whether he wants it or not. He’s been told to be kind and gentle, not bombastic. To keep his answers short and distinct. Never mention any previous election or January 6. When your mic is off, stay quiet, and no physical reaction.

He is practicing different responses to possible Biden answers. Such as, “I have no idea what he just said.” Or, “Congratulations Joe, you answered that question exactly as you rehearsed it for the last 7 days.” Or, “As you know, I’m under a gag order so I’m not allowed to respond.”

That’s enough foolishness. I hope the debate goes well for both candidates and that we learn insights on how they plan to govern as President, 2025-29.

Do you remember the 30 pro-Hamas rioters at Columbia University who took over Hamilton Hall, held three men hostage, and caused millions of dollars in damage? They will not be charged. The prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, freed these professional agitators so they can protest the Republican Convention in Milwaukee.

President Biden continues to defy the Supreme Court in transferring student loan payments from the ones who signed for the loan to the rest of us taxpayers.

One lucky recipient of a bailout did what I suggest that all of them do: Benjamin Kamens bragged about it on the internet. Every student who gets out of a loan repayment must be identified and give details like this example: “Joan Doe, Wellesley College, European Art History and Gender Studies in 2008, $92,500 forgiven, museum night janitor.” Most of us would be disgusted. However, we might be pleased with this example: “Laura Doe, Central State, Elementary Education in 2012, $7,600 forgiven, public school teacher.”

Many of the grads from elite colleges should vote for Trump. His plan for student loans is better than Biden’s. The good news for grads with degrees in fields without a career path is that Trump plans to eliminate income taxes on tips. With the money saved, they can repay their student loan.

Trump’s suggestion to eliminate the income tax on tips is good. These are mostly low-income workers. While many are completely honest and keep track of their tips, as a whole much of that income goes unreported. The IRS probably spends more money trying to collect the tax than they end up collecting.

But Trump is wrong on widespread tariffs. We learned that lesson in 1930 when the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was signed by President Hoover. Other countries retaliated with their own tariffs. World trade came to a halt. Other countries stopped buying our manufactured goods and farm products. Tariffs made the Great Depression far worse.

Do you like simple math problems? Try this one. If it takes 2 years to build a pipeline 1200 miles, how long would it take to build one 300 miles long? Maybe ask a 10-year-old to solve it.

Here are the details. The 1200-mile pipeline (actually two in parallel most of the way), were the Big Inch (24-in diameter) and Little Big Inch (20-in), from Texas to the Northeast Coast. Delivering crude oil and refined products. Built in 2 years during WWII, 1942-44.

The 300-mile pipeline is the Mountain Valley Pipeline, 42-inch diameter, across West Virginia to southern Virginia. It began delivering natural gas last week. So, was it built in 6 months? Unfortunately, no. This is more of a political problem than a simple math problem. The answer is 10 years.

Historic quote by Will Rogers: (running for President, 1928)

       “It just looks like the only way we can get the ‘Issues’ of the day straightened out is in a Joint debate… it looks like I am going to have to take you [Herbert Hoover] and Al [Smith] on before the votes are in the can this fall… I will meet you anywhere in joint debate–in any Joint you name.” Life magazine, Aug. 9, 1928


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