Loose Ends (80)

 Today’s decoding of liberal lexigraphy: It has become a common refrain from liberals to say we need to have a “national conversation”—usually about racism or “Islamophobia” or something. Translation: “Shut up and agree with liberalism.” Leftists don’t really want a “conversation” about anything, still less an argument that they’ll lose. It’s more like this:

Who said this?

“People are driving across that border with tons of everything from byproducts from methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin. And it’s all coming up from corrupt Mexico.”

Answer: Joe Biden. Good luck, Joe.

Out here in California, we were told a couple years ago that because of—wait for it!— climate change, the state was now in permanent drought. Yet after a near record-breaking winter of steady rain that fully filled most of the state’s reservoirs, we are now poised in the next few days to break a 120 year-old record for rainfall in the month of May, with perhaps two feet of snow in some of the higher mountain areas. But I am sure that this consistent with climate change, too, because is there anything it can’t do?

Feel Good Story of the Day: Salon may close! Turns out it has never made any money.

Salon Media says they have reached an 11th hour deal to sell the company and its flagship property Salon.com for $5 million. In an SEC filing, Salon also revealed its position was dire and that it would face imminent “bankruptcy and liquidation” if the deal should fall through. . .

Though it was once a powerful force in the early days of internet blogging and a prominent incubator of talent, the website has fallen on hard times in recent years. . .

The company’s troubles, however began long before and were documented in detail in a 2016 Politico Magazine story, which revealed that for years Salon — deeply unprofitable — had been kept afloat by elderly benefactors, John Warnock, a co-founder of Adobe, and Bill Hambrecht a venture capitalist. The two are now 78 and 84 respectively.

Don’t miss the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual Ten Thousand Commandments report about the economic cost of regulation. Bottom line: CEI estimates that the “hidden tax” of regulation in 2018 came to $1.9 trillion.

Regulatory costs of $1.9 trillion amount to 9 percent of U.S. GDP, which was estimated at $20.66 trillion in 2018 by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

When regulatory costs are combined with estimated federal FY 2018 pro- jected outlays of $4.412 trillion, the federal government’s share of the entire economy reaches 30 percent (not including state and local spending and regulation).

If it were a country, U.S. regulation would be the world’s ninth-largest economy, ranking behind India and ahead of Canada.

The regulatory hidden “tax” is equiva- lent to federal individual and corporate income tax receipts combined, which totaled $1.88 trillion in 2018 ($1.66 trillion in individual income tax rev- enues and $218 billion in corporate income tax revenues).

Regulatory costs rival corporate pretax profits of $2.182 trillion.
If one assumed that all costs of federal regulation and intervention flowed

all the way down to households, U.S. households would “pay” $14,615 annu- ally on average in a regulatory hidden tax. That amounts to 20 percent of the average pretax income of $73,573.

The Trump Administration is doing a lot to try to rein this in. But as someone likes to say, faster, please.