When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676

They call it Tax Reform. A Jobs Bill. That’s what it must be, right? Journalists and commentators are playing the same old game. Argue a proposed piece of legislation on its merits. Time to reset the boundaries in When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

Freedom Of Choice

While listeners to The Bob Davis Podcasts always have the freedom to choose what they think is right, I want to introduce the concept of marginal improvement. Legislators on both sides of the political spectrum talk big about ‘reform’. Usually though they make what really are marginal changes. This is especially relevant when we’re talking about the tax code.

The Real Football Game Is Congress

Team Red moves the ball back to the Blue thirty yard line. It’s hailed as a great victory. Team Blue moves the ball back to the Red twenty yard line a few years later. These are what both sides call marginal improvements. Meanwhile, as economist Milton Friedman famously suggested, they keep getting elected by making the tax code more complicated.

Budget Neutrality Isn’t A Thing

Enter a legislative concept called Budget Neutrality. The idea every expenditure must be ‘paid for’ with tax increases, or budget cuts. You think Tax Reform means lower taxes. What they’re really doing is taking away tax deductions and loop holes, and increasing our overall tax. The sad part is, it’s not their money, it’s our money. In When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

What Is Real Reform?

If you want real reform. The end to this kind of corruption? Then the power of the federal government to tax our incomes and our property must be permanently eliminated. Should corporations be taxed at all? Do you have property rights if you pay property taxes? How does government pay for the wonderful things both sides wants it to provide? We talk about it in When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

Already Socialists

So called conservatives like to argue the merits of capitalism versus socialism. It seems like I’d be on pretty safe ground if I suggested the United States has been collectivist for decades. Our economic system is not so much capitalist as it is a controlled market economy. Our elected Kings and their privy courts control our behavior and our futures with regulation and a tax code so complex, were it to be proposed as a single law in its present form, it would cause a revolution.

(Editor’s Note: While the first actual income tax in the United States was levied during the Civil War, it was later repealed as ‘unconstitutional’. Several attempts were made to establish an income tax through the late 1800’s which were unsuccessful, until the 16th amendment, ratified in 1913.)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Reliafund

When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676

Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667

When you get the last minute call to ‘fill in’ on the local radio station you have to prepare. As a podcaster it might be fun to try out some content for the radio in the podcast format. Late at night before the show I sat down to record Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667.

Where Do I Find The Radio Show?

If you want to hear the actual show this podcast spawned, you can find it here. It turned out to be significantly different from the rehearsal. Radio and podcasting are two different mediums. Podcasting itself is growing quickly. A good portion of what passes for radio listening might actually be people listening to their favorite radio show podcasts.

Where Partisanship Comes From

These days we’re crushed by an avalanche of advocacy media. Much of the content we see, read and hear is created by advocacy think tanks and is designed to persuade not inform. We’ll talk about it Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667.

Reacting Rather Than Thinking

My new thing is, with so much sharing and posting of advocacy pieces on social media we tend to spend a lot of time reacting rather than thinking. No wonder the country continues to grow more partisan every day. We hear so much we have to react to these days, there’s no time to think about what we need.

Presidential Tweets Distract

We miss major stories because we focus too much on things like presidential tweets. One of the big ones this week was the Federal Reserve’s decision to withdraw stimulus. With Puerto Rico controversy taking center stage next week, what else will we miss? In Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667.

There’s a lot of content on a lot of different topics in Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667. It turned out to be a great way to rehearse for the radio show Saturday afternoon.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating in Saint Paul

Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667

Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659

State Fair Time in Minnesota. A change in the weather. Time for Back to School. Back in the studio after summer traveling. An afternoon with FaceBook convinces me it’s time to start culling the social media herd. In Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659.

Back In The Studio

These days all of my travel is on America’s back roads. Summer 2017 saw thousands of miles of travel for The Bob Davis Podcasts. All of it on two lane state and US highways. You see a different United States from the two lane highways. Whether it was Joliet, Illinois or Rapid City, South Dakota or traveling through rural Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, West Virginia or mining towns in Ohio. I did not see Americans consumed with politics.

Backroads Education

When you travel the backroads you see people doing what they do every day. Getting up and going to work. Running their businesses. Taking kids to baseball, football soccer and hockey games.  This is not a country of feral political beasts. It is not a country of angry supporters of either political fringe. Looks pretty much the same as it did when my family toured the country by the same highways, back when I was a kid.

Social Media Cesspool

On social media though, it is a different world. In Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659 it’s time to cull the social media herd. Unfollowing those dear friends who post links to articles and demand your support or comment on the latest political and usually nonsensical missive from someone who exhorts you to think and act a certain way.

Where’s The Vision?

Back to School also means reengaging in a political process gone mad. Vision? Concrete plans for the future? Political organization? Those are relics of the past. What’s left are screaming matches, memes, reposts and going ‘live’ on FaceBook to grind your political axe. How does a podcaster add to this cacophony of ignorance and advance the story at the same time? In Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659.

No Good Citizens

Neither mainline political party serves the interests of its adherents anymore. Part of the reason is demographic. Much of the reason is people seem to think negatively commenting on a congressman’s FB Live post or protesting is the same as involvement. There are no political movements to convince legislators to take a course of action because no one wants to do that work anymore. Maybe the reason people have turned away from politics are the loud mouths and those who fill their social media feeds with partisan posts, and demand reaction.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659

Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653

Every now and then you run across a perfect stretch of road. Didn’t start out as a perfect road trip, but it’s been close. In Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653 talk of interstate free road tripping.

Eclipse Coming

Especially relevant are two eclipses approaching. A lunar eclipse on August 7th, 2017 and then a total solar eclipse on August 21st. Is this the calm before the storm? Is Sturgis the ultimate party before the Walking Dead Scenario?

Travel Advice? Take The Road Less Traveled

Over the last few road trips I have been concentrating on staying off the Interstate. What are the pro’s and con’s? People have asked me for travel advice recently. At the present moment I can think of two things. Have a goal. Stay off the Interstate. In Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653.

While there was a little political content in the last podcast of the EAA’s Osh Kosh AirVenture show, some have wondered if I will ever fully reengage in the political sphere. Your answer is in Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653. It’s kind of like staying off the Interstate, isn’t it?

End Of Summer In Upper Midwest Is The Best

Better to enjoy these last few weeks of summer. The corn is high. Night driving reveals combines echeloned in huge dark fields in South Dakota, harvesting. Already. Blue Skies. Sunshine. Cool night air. A few motorcycles dot the lanes miles ahead, and a few well behind. Happiness is a full tank of fuel and a clean windshield. In Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653.

Special thanks to CIRO3D for making 2017’s Sturgis Visit Possible

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Sturgis 2017 Road Trip-Interstate Free-Podcast 653

 

Return On Investment Chaotic World-Podcast 646

Fast and sometimes chaotic change sometimes causes people to cling to the old days and old ways. Return On Investment Chaotic World-Podcast 646 focuses on advertising for small business.

An Incredible Time

These days individuals and small business have the ability to achieve the kind of reach only dreamt about in past eras. One of the biggest problems I encounter is the habit of small businesses to fall into small thinking.

You Put A Dollar Into One End Of This Machine and You Get Twenty

Seems like business owners think there’s a machine somewhere that converts one dollar bills into twenty dollar bills and its called ‘Return on Investment‘. Social Media. Digital Advertising. Funnels. SEO. What are these? How do you set your business apart from competitors? We’ll talk about it in Return On Investment Chaotic World-Podcast 646.

ROI Is A Pig In A Poke

You don’t build a brand – as hackneyed as that concept is these days – worrying about ‘return on investment’. You don’t build a brand with ‘Hey Come On Down’ advertising approaches. Old thinking dominates main street and our political process.

Do You Feel The World Change?

Change is especially relevant these days. Chaos is another thing. Problem is if you don’t orient yourself and your business to it, change will become chaos.

There are more yoga teachers in the United States than Coal Miners, but we are developing a major economic policy for coal miners. Internet Commerce is in the process of disrupting and destroying retail. Yet, we’re building more malls. Autonomous machines and software of all kinds is replacing workers but city councils are passing higher minimum wages. In Return On Investment Chaotic World-Podcast 646.

Delivery By Drone

Technology already exists to deliver most of major company’s commerce by drone. Regulation and approval is holding it up. Same with driverless cars and many other innovations.

Meanwhile Back At The Ranch

I think it is probably predictable that in the face of potential chaotic change, people cling to the old ways of thinking and doing. Especially when it comes to advertising and politics. Change waits for no one though. It seems like the more we wait to adapt and improvise the more potential chaos looms.

Mundane to Extraordinary

The Return on Investment trope is the trigger for a romp through a discussion of new technology and its effects. From tanks in World War I to Edward Snowden. From advertising to asymmetric threats. It is here and more is coming. Return On Investment Chaotic World-Podcast 646.

Sponsored by Brush Studio In The West End

Return On Investment Chaotic World-Podcast 646

Death Of The Political Junkie Rest in Peace-Podcast 645

Are you a political junkie? Wake up in the middle of the night to check headlines? Scan social media in the bathroom? Watch the 24 hour cable news channels? Listen to talk radio on the weekend? Inbox full of political emails? We’ll talk about it in Death Of The Political Junkie Rest in Peace-Podcast 645.

Relevance

TV Stars and channels just want to keep their brands and their personalities foremost in your mind. Same with politicians. This is what people in the media call ‘Being Relevant’.

Inside Baseball

The problem is, the twenty four hour political chatter is less relevant every day. Those addicted to what we call politics these days are driving a conversation about tweets, traded insults, and stunts by people who seem more and more unhinged as each minute passes. In Death Of The Political Junkie Rest in Peace-Podcast 645.

Lies Conceal Truth

Politics and those who cover it are talking about each other more than they actually report on the news. The result? The actual political community continues to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants.

Mika Joe and Donald

Even though we have all kinds of ‘news’ coverage, it seems like the function of our government is a mystery to most people. Relating new things to the audience becomes more and more difficult in a sea of nonsense. Television presenters who poke at public figures getting a taste of their own medicine is news? Featured in Death Of The Political Junkie Rest in Peace-Podcast 645.

Meanwhile We’re Bankrupt

Puerto Rico is bankrupt. Illinois, California and New York are next. Debt is at record levels. Both political parties promise more and more. Someone, somewhere, someday will have to pay for it.

People vote for personalities. When their ‘guy’ takes office, it is expected he or she will do what ‘the voters’ want. That is not what happens. Why? Political Junkies these days know it all. They can tell you why Trump is a sociopath or why Loretta Lynch should be in federal prison but they can’t tell you what a republican stands for or what a democrat is. Maybe it’s time to watch less and do more.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars.

Death Of The Political Junkie Rest in Peace-Podcast 645


 

If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639

Coverage of former FBI director Comey testifying forces a political podcast. As a result, a velvet summer midnight in Western Virginia is the backdrop for  If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639.

People Actually Watch This Crap?

Out here the Internet is slow. With no movie packages we’re stuck with reality shows, local news and lots of commercials. I’ve seen a lot of drug commercials. I’m getting a lot of screen time on my ‘device’ because of the long commercial breaks. You know, the device get-off-my-lawn types complain about. Time to blow off some steam In If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639.

The Mighty Wurlitzer

Do I have to say it again? Everyone is selling a point of view. Like a thickener for soup. Depending on who owns or funds one of these partisan ‘news’ websites, it’s their point of view sold through shares on social media. And why not? If you agree with something, share it. Right? Truth is those shares aren’t aren’t news. Not ‘fake news’. Propaganda. In If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639.

Believe Whatever You Want But It’s Not The Truth

For example. the ‘biased mainstream media’ reported the FBI was investigating Trump, right? Are the Hillary Clinton emails and the Russia hack question one and the same? Does the now famous Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch conversation in the tarmac have anything to do with the Trump administration? Are you sure? How do you know?

Join Us As We Con America!

When you can’t tell the difference between the good stuff and formaldehyde and rubbing alcohol you take your life in your hands. Or so the story went in the 1920’s. As a result, we don’t know the difference between snake oil and snake oil.  Most of all, readers don’t fact check. We don’t know who funds these outlets. Eyeballs don’t google the author. Clicks. Shares. Numbers reached. Get your propaganda on twitter and Facebook. A majority of Americans get their news from social media. Especially relevant is the fact that Americans are being conned as never before. In If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639.

The End Of Politics In The United States?

Seems like we live on opposite shores of an ocean of opinion. Due to storms raging shore to shore, driven by outside forces seemingly beyond our control. As much as this may seem true the antidote is talking to each other. Especially relevant is the question, when was the last time you had coffee with someone to talk about solutions? Do we have discussions anymore about what actually works? Seems like our conversations are all about whether ‘we think’ this is or that is true. Furthermore, we live under brands and act as if our brand is the best. Are Republicans going make an already dangerous government less powerful. Moreover, who pays for minimum incomes and free health insurance, and free education Democrats promise? Meanwhile, a ‘conservative’ president pushes to borrow another trillion dollar stimulus for roads and bridges we don’t need.

Getting Nothing Done

Any analysis of the day’s news I might do inevitably leads to the conclusion very little coverage sheds much light on anything. On the contrary, it is designed to convince us to support a person or point of view. The bottom line is, while republicans have large majorities at most states and the federal level, they’re not getting much done while Democrats move further left every day.

Sponsored by X Government Cars.

If You’re Looking For Truth You’re Getting Conned-Podcast 639

Market Goes Down Blame The Media-Podcast 631

Sudden scandal engulfs Washington. A one day market drop is blamed on media ‘persecution’ of the president. Is this possible? Can the media cause a drop in the markets? In Market Goes Down Blame The Media-Podcast 631.

Russia Was A Dead Issue. Then Trump fired Comey

Not too long ago we were talking about ACA repeal, Tax Reform and Foreign Policy. The only people talking about Russians and Trump were the former Democratic Presidential Candidate and the new chair of the Democratic National Committee. Then, Trump fired the FBI director. That put Russia and Putin back on the front burner.

Trump’s Twitter Feed and Political Mistakes

Now, we’re talking about the latest White House debacle. Not congressional progress on key economic issues. Seemingly, without warning, the market is down! It has to be the media’s fault! Right? We’ll talk about it in Market Goes Down Blame The Media-Podcast 631.

Why Invest?

Investors put their money in markets in the hopes of taking advantage of future growth. With the election of a business man as president, some investors were willing to bet on the future. Health Insurance and Tax Reform. A stronger US Foreign Policy. Less regulation. Progress on the kinds of economic legislation that seeds growth. Or at least that’s the story.

Things Aren’t Getting Better

Truth is, the US economy has been holding in place for nearly ten years. While the markets have been fueled by central banks buying securities and low interest rates, main street has been struggling. The business man president who was supposed to fix main street has done nothing but make speeches, sign executive orders and complain about the media coverage he’s getting. Meanwhile, 1st quarter US Growth was a mind-blowing .7 percent.

The US President Is Not A King

Fact is, the US Presidency is not a dictatorship. US presidents are answerable to congress, the courts and the law, not to mention state and local governments. The presidency itself is mainly a political office. To be effective and memorable, a president’s agenda has to be backed up with legislation. That means the president has to work with congress to get it done.

Rhetoric Doesn’t Work

President Trump has a lot of ideas. He talks about them all the time. Talk is cheap. There’s no action on Tax Reform, ACA Repeal, the Budget, Regulation Reform and trade. Why? Not because of the media. We have a president who likes to talk. He doesn’t like to lead congress to take action. In Market Goes Down Blame The Media-Podcast 631.

Republicans Don’t Want To Talk About Politics Anymore

In January most republicans were on top of all the latest developments in Washington and their new president. They were especially prickly about criticism of Trump. Suddenly they have other things to do. Don’t want to talk about politics. Given the obvious missteps by the president it’s easy to forgive the desire to blame the media for all that is wrong. This time though, the blame lies directly at the president’s door.

Money Talks…Bullshit Walks

Traders want action. Not talk. Investors don’t make decisions on today’s news stories or rhetoric from the president. They’re looking out into the future and investing in future growth. The top political leader in the United States is President Trump. He sits astride a republican White House, Senate and House. Yet, he hasn’t been able to get anything done. Maybe that’s why the markets are down.

Sponsored by X Government Cars

Market Goes Down Blame The Media-Podcast 631

 

 

When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627

One issue above all others has been the driving force in Republican politics for the last seven years. Repeal ObamaCare. None of the candidates said anything about repeal and replace. When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627 takes a raw view of the latest health care fiasco of the US Congress.

Promise Broken Again

President Trump and Republicans call The American Health Care Act of 2017 a victory.  HR 1628 keeps much of ObamaCare intact. There are still two hurdles. The bill has to pass the senate. The president has to sign it into law. Call it what you will but it is not a repeal of the ACA. This is what republican voters wanted. In When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627.

Republican Entitlement

Many in politics and the media will argue what the American Health Care Act does and doesn’t do. One thing is for sure. If it passes the senate and is signed into law, the American Health Care Act anchors a new entitlement passed by congress in 2010 and makes republicans, not democrats responsible for it. In When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627.

Those Who Endorsed Republicans Own It

Pundits and personalities cry, “If this is what happens why vote republican?”. Rather than endorsing and supporting republicans perhaps these personalities and other politicians should have been asking this question. A question that should have been on the lips of every republican for several cycles.

An economic Question

Commitments to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Drug Benefits and now Health Insurance will eventually swamp the United States Budget. The government cannot grant its citizens anything. Whatever is ‘given’ must be paid for through taxation eventually. The biggest issue in governments whether they are local, state or federal is spending. Talk about it in When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627.

Debt

The United States Federal Debt is more than 100 percent of its yearly GDP. The republican congress just passed another trillion dollar budget. State, federal and local governments employ over fifty percent of us. Public institutions have become major stakeholders in every political decision made.

Why Don’t They Ever Fix Anything

When government is so involved our personal lives, it’s personal. Every decision is politicized. Frustration and anger are the order of the day. Politicians solve problems by creating problems. We have an archaic and sclerotic government bureaucracy. Because the republicans failed to keep their promise to repeal the health insurance entitlement, the ‘health care debate’ will rage for the foreseeable future. In When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627.

New Thinking

With government largesse comes oppression. Surveillance, policing and prisons. War. It’s time people consider a new political movement in this country to permanently remove the power of government over our lives.

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627

Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

We hear a lot of words used to describe various political factions in the US. Most will say the US economic system is capitalist but is this just an illusion? Are we socialist? Have we been socialist for a long time? It seems to me, we have. In Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Socialism Is Everywhere

Just because a country’s economic system is socialist, does not mean it’s a tyranny. Denmark and Canada aren’t dictatorships. Singapore is a Socialist Market Economy. Places where ‘the people’ own or control the means of production. Most socialist countries these days enjoy democratic political systems.

Government and Non Profits Dominate State Economies

Americans think of themselves as capitalists. The thing is, the top three employers in my state are public institutions. Americans depend on social security, medicare, or medicaid ‘entitlements’. Home buyers get tax subsidies. We enjoy many tax deferred investment options. Farmers get subsidies. Public workers get pensions. All kinds of grants for education exist. Then there are the business subsidies and government contracts. Some popular business personalities receive billions in subsidies from the government. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Both Parties Support Socialism

Democrats complain about light rail projects running through their backyards, but support government programs because ‘It’s the right thing to do’. Republicans complain about big government unless it’s the military, support for their businesses, home mortgage tax credit, social security and 401K programs.

The Right Thing To Do

It’s true that many of these programs date back to the depression in the 1930’s. Also true that creation of these programs came with the best intentions. Whether we like it or not, government is deeply involved in our lives. Of course, what the government giveth, the government takeaway. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Classic Liberalism Is Forgotten

Republicans and Democrats argue the same side of the coin. Both are collectivists. Neither adhere to Classic Liberalism, a philosophy of limited government with the sole purpose of securing a maximum amount of individual liberty, property rights and free markets. While no political scientist would argue the US is Socialist maybe we should consider the possibility we are and have been for some time.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars

Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625