Jacques the Moron

The verbal assaults against Pres. Trump, both oral and printed, have become almost mechanical. The concerted attempt to make his presidency seem illegitimate has largely become successful for much of the America population thanks to this systematic demeaning of the man. The above-board conspiracy has mostly won. I am not referring to criticism of Mr Trump’s policies based on facts and analysis. That’s fine and necessary, of course. (I have done some of this myself, right on my FB and on this blog.) I refer to personal attacks. Individuals with zero achievements, many demonstrable morons themselves, routinely call the president a moron. (I am not making this up; I could name names; perhaps I will, right here.)

When opponents are not content with opposing President Trump but insult him too, they also insult me. I voted for Mr Trump for the same reasons million others did. First, his name was not Clinton; second, I thought it was important to seize the chance to appoint a conservative Supreme Court Justice (or two). Since he has taken office, Mr Trump has surprised me pleasantly. There is no doubt in my mind that the current general American prosperity has a great deal to do with his policies, beginning with the general tax cut. Incidentally, I am well aware of the fact that the drop in unemployment began with the Obama administration. Another administration might have stopped it, or slowed it down. So, I have had two years to recant my vote. I have not. If you call the man I voted for a moron; you are calling me a moron.

I am not inclined to be indulgent with respect to the insult because I believe I know where it comes from thanks the many hours I spent at the faculty club. It’s a social class reaction; it’s the offended retort of those who think they are superior because they have read three books. It’s the cry of anguish of the semi-washed against the great unwashed (the “deplorables” in Mrs Clinton precise and unforgettable formula). Those who insult Pres. Trump, and therefore, me, are elitists with little reason to consider themselves an elite of any kind. Obviously, those who merely oppose his policies don’t need to call him names; they just have to describe that which they object to.

The daily name calling is wearying. It will leave a mark on my soul. I am far from sure that I will find it in me to forgive, or if I will ever forget. I think a ditch has been dug that will not be filled.

16 thoughts on “Jacques the Moron

  1. I wouldn’t call Trump a moron.

    A mobbed-up amoral crony capitalist who is strangling the US economy with tax increases larger than the ObamaCare taxes he complained about (speaking of which, US steel stocks are down 22% since his tariffs and prices/jobs in that industry remain flat), yes.

    And a standard-issue (other than the pro wrestling style entertainment routine) rich entitled northeastern progressive, sure.

    And a number of other evil things. But he’s obviously not dumb, nor was his election “illegitimate” under the rules for elections.

    As for his voters, no, they’re not morons unless they were expecting something other than an economy-strangling, mobbed-up, amoral crony capitalist rich entitled northeastern progressive, and/or still remain convinced that isn’t what they got.

    • “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” — Milton Friedman

      That may or may not be true of the tariffs.

      But it also may or may not be true of the previous round of income tax cuts.

      Just as an example, the original tax cut plan doubled the standard deduction. But it also called for, after two years, taking the standard deduction back to where it had been — and eliminating the personal exemption. So, at the end, a 50% increase in the amount of taxable income.

      I know that there was some action on “making the tax cuts permanent” in this last session, but I don’t know if it fixed that or not.

      Then, of course, there’s the budget deficit. Every dollar of it is a dollar of taxation. Deferred taxation, true, but taxation (and higher than the dollar for dollar amount since there will be interest).

      There’s a whole lot of smoke and mirrors in tax policy at the best of times. And this is far from the best of times.

    • Love your writing, and our conversations!

      Note: I was not accurate when I characterized the two-step standard deduction/personal exemption thing as “50% increase in the amount of taxable income.” What I should have written was that it is a 50% decrease in the amount of tax-exempt income.

    • I’m going to use rough numbers and the very basics here because I’m explaining a mechanism. The details actually differ in various ways.

      Let’s say that the standard deduction is $10,000, and the personal exemption is $10,000, and you make $100,000. The first $20,000 of that income is not subject to the income tax.

      The Trump “tax cut” doubled the standard deduction to $20,000. So now, with the personal exemption, it’s the first $30,000 that isn’t subject to the income tax.

      But the plan called for, after two years, lowering the standard deduction back to $10,000 and eliminating the personal exemption. Which would mean that only first $10,000 would not be subject to the income tax.

      While that would result in an increase in taxable income on your $100,000, it would not be a 50% increase. It would be a 20% increase ($20k of the $100k that had not been taxable before would become taxable).

      And it would be a 66.6x% decrease in tax exempt income from its height, and a 50% decrease from the pre-“tax-cut” regime.

    • I’m pretty sure Brandon follows our comment conversations. He’s free to use my little notes any way he likes, although I’d suggest following up my claims with one’s own research before publishing anything — it’s been more than a year since I had a close look at this and I may be mis-remembering details.

    • I already pull up my sleeves for three columns a week, daily blog posts, and publishing the Internet’s oldest daily libertarian news/commentary email roundup — I’m not looking for any new jobs at the moment 🙂

    • You are busy; that’s why I ask you. Write a small piece for both NOL and your other outlets. I insist because, people who know often don’t know that those who don’t know are merely ignorant, not dumb or unwilling to learn. Hate to treat myself as an example but, I wrote piece in several short chapters on the basics of international trade for my blog a long time ago. It was addressed explicitly to the “intelligent ignorant.” After many years, that piece still receives several visits each week. I have a piece on fascism on the same model that has met with nearly equal long-term success. Just saying. The internet should also be used to help those who missed some lectures, or whole classes. In the expensive university where I taught last, it was possible to graduate in good standing without a single class in economics.

    • publishing the Internet’s oldest daily libertarian news/commentary email roundup

      Which everybody can find here, by the way.

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