A crowning achievement for Donald Trump

Great Presidents change history.  As President, Washington created the national government.  Lincoln saved the Union and passed the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery.  Wilson and the Progressives gave us the Federal Reserve, the income tax and the 17th Amendment.  Franklin Roosevelt created the welfare state and social security.   Reagan won the Cold War.

If Trump is to be a great President, he must do more than cut taxes and regulations,  and revive the economy.  Those are temporary, and reversible, accomplishments.  To set his stamp on our history, President Trump needs an enduring, permanent legacy.

A Balanced Budget Amendment could set the nation’s financial house in order for a hundred years.  It could establish a Congressional budget process which would constitute the greatest institutional reform of Congress in history.  It could be the foundation of generations of prosperity.  And if it were adopted using Article V of the Constitution it would be the greatest devolution of power, from Congress to the States, in all our history.

Trump opposed Article V in the 2016 Republican primaries in order to gain the support of Phylis Schlafly and her Eagle Forum.  Schlafly is dead and Trump has no need of the Eagle Forum.  He’s been flexible in his transition from candidate to President on a number of issues.  Changing his mind on Article V will surprise no one.

He should act now, because 2018 may be the last of an extraordinary political period.  From 2014 to 2018 Republicans have controlled enough state legislatures to pass the needed 34 state resolutions for a BBA Amendment Convention without any Democratic help.  When the West Virginia Senate unexpectedly flipped Republican in the 2014 election, there were just enough states to do it.  The 2016 elections gave the Democrats Nevada and New Mexico, but were offset by Republican gains in Kentucky and Minnesota.  Thanks to a coin flip in Virginia, in 2018 we still have just enough states to do it (Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, Kentucky, Virginia and South Carolina).

Trump can guarantee that any Amendment Convention will not run away.  He’ll prevent it, or ignore it.  Without his support, no Amendment can realistically be ratified.  He has a political veto, and with that veto will have the power to control the formulation of the Amendment.  In political reality, Trump and his supporters will control the Amendment Convention.  It’s no great exaggeration to say that Trump can write the Amendment himself.

The 2017 Phoenix Convention of States gave us a preview of the Amendment Convention.  President Trump has more support within the state legislatures of this country than in any other political institution.  The Trump Caucus of the Amendment Convention will dominate it.

This represents a  political opportunity for the President to run against, and around, Congress and its leadership.  They are the problem.  Under the President’s leadership, the states can constitutionally usurp the power of Congress.  In any fight between Congress and the President, the states can take the President’s side, and prevail.

Setting that precedent might be the most important of all.

 

Making America Great Again

Almost everything that President Reagan wanted to do, but couldn’t, President Trump is doing.  In the Gipper’s defense, his first priority was winning the Cold War, and he had to deal with Tip O’Neill, not Paul Ryan.  But what Trump is doing is nothing more, or less, than what conservatives like Reagan, Goldwater and Buckley (and me) have wanted to do for the last 50 years.

In one sense Trump is unequalled.  The greatest impediment to the conservative movement has always been the media, since the 1930’s.  Only Trump had the courage to confront them.  How that war turns out remains to be seen.  The media and the deep state may take him down.  But Trump has shown the way.  His example will be followed.  And large and growing swathes of America have tuned the media out.

As a constitutionalist, to me the most important duty of Trump in 2018 will be appointing Justice Kennedy’s replacement.  I expect another Gorsuch, and with this fifth conservative Justice the abominable Roe v. Wade will eventually be reversed.  And condemned as the most damnable piece of judicial legislation in our history.  We’re returning to the rule of law, not of men.  A dream about to be fulfilled.

I read today that the federal government shed some 17,000 employees in 2017.  It boggles the mind.  The government shrinking?

I never saw it coming.  I didn’t think Trump had it in him.  I was wrong.  I wish him every success.

Reagan, Trump and 2018

In 1982, two years after Reagan’s election, the Republicans lost 36 seats in the House, and they don’t look much better heading in to 2018.  Is next year a Democratic one, and are Republicans doomed to lose, not only in Congress, but in state legislatures as well?  If so, Article V may have to wait until 2021.

It’s entirely possible that Republicans will do far better in 2018 than everyone seems to think.  Everyone thought Trump would lose in 2016, and everyone was wrong, so it could happen again.

The most important difference between 1982 and 2018 will be the economy.  Reagan’s tax cuts had not yet taken effect in November of 1982.  They were being phased in, and the economy was yet to recover.  And Paul Volcker at the Fed was still squeezing inflation out of the economy, which caused a lot of economic pain.

Right now the economy is growing at around 3.5%, and 4% growth in 2018 is realistic.  Good economic times are coming, and the Republicans will get the credit.  This is what the bull stock market is predicting, and an economic boom, more like the Roaring 20’s than the 1980’s, could do wonders for Republicans.

And next year may also be the year when people on the left accept the fact that Trump was elected, and will serve at least four years.  As the puny indictment of General Flynn shows, the whole Russia story is a joke, and will vanish.

Meanwhile the left continues to beclown itself with its excesses.  The Democrats are now fully allied with socialism, and radical leftism in all its guises.  This will be spectacularly on display next summer, as the pro-abortion lobby goes absolutely crazy over Trump’s nomination to fill retiring Justice Kennedy’s seat.

If it’s another Gorsuch, as it surely will be, Roe v. Wade will be overturned, affirmative action abolished, and 60 years of liberal Supreme Court rulings will be under review.  The spectacle of these crazed leftists and feminists and justice warriors opposing the nominee will take us all back to the 60’s.

And the 60’s ended well for the Republicans.

 

Die Tannenbaume Schadenfreude

Yet another early Christmas gift, in the gayly wrapped carcass of Matt Lauer, to park under the old yuletide tree.  And, behold, still another ruined phony, Garrison Keillor, to set beside the remains of Weinstein and Rose and Conyers.  Smirking, preening leftists, every one.  And at the crown of the tree the head of  Bill Clinton, with his shit eating grin.   And, you’ve got to believe, more to come.  What a Christmas!

“The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small.”   Sextus Empiricus

 

The Trillion Dollar Tax Reform

Spending your children’s money is an easy way to solve problems, and the Congress of the United States, waving high the banner of Republican, seems ready to resort to this tried and true solution.  Obama made us comfortable with trillion dollar deficits, and it will now be the bipartisan norm.  Every law of economics declares that this cannot be sustained.  But it continues, and the wolf of inflation is not yet at our door.  What gives?

It seems to me that the age of the internet is a cornucopia of wealth production, or economic efficiency, or productivity if you will, and the bounty of this harvest is overcoming old economic truths.  There is so much wealth being created, in countless and often unseen ways, that the debasement of the currency is offset.  The printing press is just keeping pace with the flow of new wealth.

So the idea of a balanced budget, or a constitutional requirement thereof, lacks all urgency, and the campaign to reach 34 states is at a stand.  Kentucky and South Carolina are within reach, so we may have 30 by the end of 2018.  To get those last four states a great deal of money is needed, and until it is raised it simply won’t happen.

Since the Democratic Party has become the party of government, and George Soros, a Balanced Budget Amendment will only happen with Republican legislatures.  We are, at the moment, at high water for Republicans, with 32 states under control, and two with one Republican chamber.  In the current political environment, this dominance will be extremely difficult to maintain.  If we lose the Colorado Senate next November, the path to 34 will be blocked.

The election of 2020 will, in this scenario, be the critical time for the BBA.  It will need to be a Republican wave, bringing in new Republican majorities in places like Maine and Nevada.

So the Reagan Project stalls, and waits upon events.  2018 seems to be lining up as a Democrat year, but that can change.  When Justice Kennedy retires in June the fight over his replacement will be epic.  The next Neil Gorsuch will be the fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the left will go berserk, to the benefit of the Republican brand.  And the GOP may benefit from strong economic growth, and the small scale of our wars abroad.  Anything can happen.

Which brings us to Trump the Improbable.  You must give the devil his due.  No one in American history has done what he has.  When he ran for President he took on every power that was, Republican and Democrat, and he beat every damn one of them.  At this point, you’d be a fool to sell him short.