Two for One is Dumb. Three Branches is Smart

Trump signs ‘2-for-1’ order to reduce regulations

Study: Trump has eliminated $86B in regulations

Seven regulations targeted by Trump

Trump White House tells agencies to halt regulations

Wrong, wrong, wrong! This is not the way to build a legacy. Ask the last president.

Regulations persist because interest groups know how to exploit them for their own gain. These groups dismiss the wrack-and-ruin this brings to our political system, and the erosive effect their gains have on our freedoms.

So give ’em what they want. Punish them with their own regulations. Unleash hundreds if not thousands of punitive actions. Make clear the choice between dismantling the Regulatory State, and tyranny.

FDR’s legacy was the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) the legal basis for today’s Regulatory State. Tomorrow’s legacy goes to the president who signs the Administrative Restructuring Act (ARA), which puts the rule of law back into Federal rule-making.

Continue reading “Two for One is Dumb. Three Branches is Smart”

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Hack-Proofing Legislation

The Senate today approved President Williams’ treaty where a Russian-led consortium will build and provide 10% of our nation’s electrical power using coal-fired and micro-nuclear plants. The 50 year agreement gives embassy-level sovereignty to over 100 sites in the U.S. for construction and operation of these new plants. U.S. businesses and households will see an estimated 10% reduction in energy costs (aka Taxpayer Repayment Using Metered Paydowns). Construction and operation of these facilities will be by U.S. labor.

Russia in turn agrees to pull out of the contested Crimea Ashawr pass, and will yield further concessions to de-escalate military tensions in the region.

President Williams, commenting on the agreement, stated “This is a vital addition to the U.S. infrastructure. We ensure a reliable baseline of energy for the U.S. power grid and we open up markets for alternative sources of energy, needed for peak loads. Also, I’m confident this agreement will defuse tensions in the Crimea and will lead to further economic and military cooperation between our two great nations.”

Included in the treaty are lands and licenses for the consortium to spearhead exploration and exploitation of oil & gas reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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Other People’s Money

Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman. – Louis D. Brandeis. Other People’s Money and How the Bankers Use It (1914)

The problem with Other People’s Money (OPM) is investors are not as careful spending it as they are with their own. They take greater risks than warranted. They don’t scrutinize as closely as they should. They don’t check to see if they are being blinded by undue optimism. They don’t build sufficient protections or stop-loss triggers into investments.

How do we as a society institutionalize an investment culture that encourages private risk-taking but not recklessness? We’re not just interested in fraud. We seek to correct an attitude that often considers other people’s money as less important than our own.

How do we prudently invest grandma’s retirement money?

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No Free Lunch

Legislation has been passed and someone’s got to pay for it. Certainly not the politicians. What about a general tax increase? Unlikely. There would be voter retribution. Okay, let’s vilify a person or group and pass the cost on to them (tobacco companies, Corporate America, ‘the rich’). Politicians get a free lunch: braggin’ rights for the new legislation and no new taxes. Hooray for our guy!

The lunch gets paid for with a devaluation of our democracy.

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Go Straight to Jail

It is my belief that if we place you a position of public trust with all its honors and privileges we’re justified in holding you fully responsible. You break our trust and you go to jail. There will be no safety in D&O insurance. There are no plea bargains. Political connections won’t help. You can make a lot of money but break our trust and you’ll never enjoy that money. You know this before signing up and the justice system backs us up.

We do not define in advance what determines a breach of trust. We look at results. Whatever turns out to be a material cause for adverse results, as determined after the fact, will be considered a breach. It doesn’t matter whether an i- was dotted or a t- crossed on a regulatory document. You have adverse results, we dig in to find the cause, and it better not be you.

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The Fed

You give me a bushel of apples and I give you an IOU. This IOU promises to pay back your bushel of apples, or something else to your liking, in the future. We make this trade, apples for IOU, because you have too many apples and I want apples today. We’re both better off. Apples get consumed that would otherwise be left to rot on the ground.

Why would I take your IOU? Because I trust you. Or you put up some collateral. Or I have legal recourse. Or it’s the Christian thing to do. Or a myriad of other reasons. Why would you give an IOU? Because your apples have not yet blossomed. Because you need apples today to sell apple cider tomorrow. Or you’re hungry and have no other means to get apples. Or a myriad of other reasons.

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