What the FBI/FISA Memo Really Tells Us About Our Government
The release of the House Intelligence Committee’s memo on the FBI’s abuse of the FISA process set off a partisan firestorm. The Democrats warned us beforehand that declassifying the memo would be the end the world as we know it. It was reckless to allow Americans to see this classified material, they said. Agents in the field could be harmed, sources and methods would be compromised, they claimed.
Republicans who had seen the memo claimed that it was far worse than Watergate. They said that mass firings would begin immediately after it became public. They said that the criminality of US government agencies exposed by the memo would shock Americans.
Then it was released and the world did not end. FBI agents have thus far not been fired. Seeing “classified” material did not terrify us, but rather it demonstrated clearly that information is kept from us by claiming it is “classified.”
In the end, both sides got it wrong. Here’s what the memo really shows us:
First,the memo demonstrates that there is a “deep state” that does not want things like elections to threaten its existence. Candidate Trump’s repeated promises to get along with Russia and to re-assess NATO so many years after the end of the Cold War were threatening to a Washington that depends on creating enemies to sustain the fear needed to justify a trillion dollar yearly military budget.
Imagine if candidate Trump had kept his campaign promises when he became President. Without the “Russia threat” and without the “China threat” and without the need to dump billions into NATO, we might actually have reaped a “peace dividend” more than a quarter century after the end of the Cold War. That would have starved the war-promoting military-industrial complex and its network of pro-war “think tanks” that populate the Washington Beltway area.
Second, the memo shows us that neither Republicans nor Democrats really care that much about surveillance abuse when average Americans are the victims. It is clear that the FISA abuse detailed in the memo was well known to Republicans like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes before the memo was actually released. It was likely also well known by Democrats in the House. But both parties suppressed this evidence of FBI abuse of the FISA process until after the FISA Amendments Act could be re-authorized. They didn’t want Americans to know how corrupt the surveillance system really is and how the US has become far too much like East Germany. That might cause more Americans to call up their Representatives and demand that the FISA mass surveillance amendment be allowed to sunset.
Based on what we already know about the proposed Trump tax reform, which can be summarized as follows:
collapse the seven individual income tax rates to three (12, 25, and 35 percent),
increase the standard deduction,
eliminate personal exemptions,
increase the child tax credit,
eliminate most itemized deductions,
repeal the individual and corporate alternative minimum taxes,
repeal the estate tax,
reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, tax pass-through business income at a top rate of 25 percent,
allow businesses to fully expense investment in equipment and machinery for at least five years,
adopt a territorial tax system that would exempt the foreign earnings of US corporations from US tax
… moments ago the Tax Policy Center released its analysis of what the practical impacts of the Trump tax plan will be on the broader population. Below we present the key findings.
The tax plan will cost $2.4 trillion over the first decade and $3.2 trillion over the second dacade, on a static basis
The proposal would reduce federal revenues by $2.4 trillion over the first ten years and $3.2 in the second decade. This means that absent a matched deduction in spending, US deficit and debt will increase by a similar amount. This is a problem as a Senate GOP budget resolution unveiled on Friday only allows for adding $1.5 trillion to the debt, implying a revenue shortfall of just under $1 trillion.
The business income tax provisions—including those affecting corporations and pass-through businesses—would reduce revenues by $2.6 trillion over the first ten years. Elimination of estate and gift taxes would lose another $240 billion. The individual income tax provisions (excluding those related to business income) would increase revenues by about $470 billion over the same period.
While many Americans will benefit, the biggest gains will go to the 1%, whose after-tax income would increase by over 8%.
In 2018, the average tax bill for all income groups would decline: taxpayers in the bottom 95 percent of the income distribution would see average after-tax incomes increase between 0.5 and 1.2%. However, and where the Democrats will have a field day, taxpayers in the top 1 percent (incomes above $730,000), would receive about 50 percent of the total tax benefit; their after-tax income would increase an average of 8.5 percent.
Between 2018 and 2027, the average tax cut as a share of after-tax income would fall for all income groups other than the top 1 percent. In 2027, taxpayers between the 80th and 95th percentiles of income (between about $150,000 and $300,000) would experience a slight tax increase on average.
The problem is that at the same time, taxes for substantial portion of taxpayers will go up:
In 2018, about 12% of taxpayers would face a tax increase of roughly $1,800 on average. Where it gets worse is that many of those who form the backbone of the upper-middle class, or more than a third of taxpayers making between about $150,000 and $300,000, will pay more, mainly because most itemized deductions would be repealed.
Fast forward to 2027, when the overall average tax cut would be smaller than in 2018, increasing after-tax incomes 1.7 percent. Taxpayer groups in the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution—those making less than about $150,000—would receive average tax cuts of 0.5 percent or less of after-tax income. However, taxpayers making between about $150,000 and $300,000 would on average pay about $800 more in taxes than under current law. And the one item which Democrats will love: about 80% of the total benefit would accrue to taxpayers in the top 1 percent, whose after-tax income would increase 8.7 percent.
It gets worse: by 2027, taxes would rise for roughly one-quarter of taxpayers, including nearly 30 percent of those with incomes between about $50,000 and $150,000 and 60 percent of those making between about $150,000 and $300,000.
According to the Tax Policy Center, the number of taxpayers with a tax increase rises over time. This is because the plan would replace personal exemptions, which are indexed for inflation, with additional credits for children and non-child dependents that are not indexed for inflation. In addition, indexing tax brackets and other parameters to the slower-growing chained Consumer Price Index means that over time more income is subject to tax at higher rates.
Finally, there is of course, the repeal of the state and local tax deduction, a move which is expected to be widely hated by homeowners across the US, but as the chart below shows, by democrat states far more than republican states.
As BofA writes, blue states with high state and local taxes will be the most adversely impacted from the loss of this deduction. Thus, opposition in the Senate will mainly come from Democrats, while Republicans will mostly be on the same page. But, the situation should be more contentious in the House. Data from the Tax Policy Center reveals that 26 of the top 50 districts in terms of SALT deduction usage had a Republican representative. Republicans will likely face more internal pushback from these members. Ultimately, a House bill would fail if two dozen Republicans (and every Democrat) were opposed.
Have you ever wondered why Donald Trump is so deeply hated by the elite? It isn’t because he is a Republican. In fact, there are lots of Republicans out there that the elite absolutely love. The truth is that the reason the elite have such deep animosity toward Trump is because he is fighting their globalist agenda. When Trump talks about a border wall or a travel ban, the elite hate that because they ultimately want a world where national borders have been made meaningless. And when Trump talks about tearing up trade agreements that really freaks them out because they have been working very hard to try to merge the economies of the planet into a single global economic system. Worst of all for the globalists was when Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement. For decades the elite have been using such international agreements to impose their values on the entire planet, and now the leader of the most powerful nation in the world is standing up to them.
In my long experience in Washington, vice presidents did not make major foreign policy announcements or threaten other countries with war. Not even Dick Cheney stole this role from the weak president George W. Bush.. CIA. US. Trump. Strategic Culture Foundation
One of the biggest problems facing this nation is the amount of money that has been “sequestered,” to term it, for “Non-Profit Organizations,” or “NPO’s.” Why? They present a problem when they can be used by an unscrupulous individual or groups of unscrupulous individuals (for examples, a George Soros, or the Democratic Party respectively). What is an NPO? Let’s look at what they are and see if the definition is characterized by actual NPO actions.
Here is an excerpt from a book that describes NPO’s (what they should be):
“The main financial difference between a for-profit and a not-for-profit enterprise is what happens to the profit. In a for-profit company like Ford or Microsoft or Disney or your favorite fast-food establishment, profits are paid to the owners, including shareholders. But a nonprofit can’t do that. Any profit remaining after the bills are paid has to be plowed back into the organization’s service program. So profit can’t be distributed to individuals, such as the organization’s board of directors, who are volunteers in every sense of the word.”
“Nonprofit Kit for Dummies,” ISBN: 0-7645-5347-X, pg. 8
Austere and stoic, these NPO’s, all! Ahh, but what is conveniently left out is the salary portion…for the directors. Those salaries are written off as an operating expense by the “Non-Profit,” but they’re hardly the funds gleaned by a “simple volunteer for the beneficent NPO.” Another paragraph from the book shows this:
…for the most part, we’re talking about an organization that the Internal Revenue Service has classified as a 501(c)(3). They receive exemption from federal income taxes and sometimes relief from property taxes at the local level. Nonprofit organizations classified as 501(c)(3) receive extra privileges under the law. They are, with minor exceptions, the only group of tax-exempt organizations that can receive tax-deductible contributions from individuals and organizations.
Being a nonprofit organization does not mean that an entity is exempt from paying all taxes. Nonprofit organizations pay employment taxes just like for-profit businesses do. In some states, but not all, nonprofits are exempt from paying sales tax…”
As a part of the increasingly obvious set-up of conservative movements by international banking interests and globalist think-tanks, I have noticed an expanding disinformation campaign which appears to be designed to wash the Federal Reserve of culpability for the crash of 2008 that has continued to fester to this day despite the many claims of economic “recovery.” I believe this program is meant to set the stage for a coming conflict between the Trump Administration and the Fed, but what would be the ultimate consequences of such an event?
In my article ‘The False Economic Recovery Narrative Will Die In 2017’, I outlined the propaganda trap being established by globalist owned and operated media outlets like Bloomberg, in which they consistently claim that Donald Trump has “inherited” an economy in recovery and ascendancy from the Obama administration. I thoroughly debunked their positions and “evidence” by showing how each of their fundamental indicators has actually been in steady decline since 2008, even in the face of massive monetary intervention and fiat printing by the Fed.
My greatest concern leading up to the 2016 election was that Trump would be allowed to win because he represents the perfect scapegoat for an economic crisis that central banks have been brewing for years.
Lost in most of the coverage of President Trump’s decision to rescind the Obama administration’s transgender mandates is a fundamental legal reality — the Trump administration just relinquished federal authority over gender-identity policy in the nation’s federally funded schools and colleges.
In other words, Trump was less authoritarian than Obama. And that’s not the only case. Consider the following examples where his administration, through policy or personnel, appears to be signaling that the executive branch intends to become less intrusive in American life and more accountable to internal and external critique.
Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, a man known not just for his intellect and integrity but also for his powerful legal argument against executive-branch overreach. Based on his previous legal writings, if Gorsuch had his way, the federal bureaucracy could well face the most dramatic check on its authority since the early days of the New Deal. By overturning judicial precedents that currently require judicial deference to agency legal interpretations, the Court could put a stop to the current practice of presidents and bureaucrats steadily (and vastly) expanding their powers by constantly broadening their interpretations of existing legal statutes.
For example, the EPA has dramatically expanded its control over the American economy even without Congress passing significant new environmental legislation. Instead, the EPA keeps revising its interpretation of decades-old statutes like the Clean Air Act, using those new interpretations to enact a host of comprehensive new regulations. If Gorsuch’s argument wins the day, the legislative branch would be forced to step up at the expense of the executive, no matter how “authoritarian” a president tried to be.
Trump nominated H. R. McMaster to replace Michael Flynn as his national-security adviser. McMaster made his name as a warrior on battlefields in the Gulf War and the Iraq War, but he made his name as a scholar by writing a book, Dereliction of Duty, that strongly condemned Vietnam-era generals for simply rolling over in the face of Johnson-administration blunders and excesses. In his view, military leaders owe their civilian commander in chief honest and courageous counsel — even when a president may not want to hear their words.
When the Ninth Circuit blocked Trump’s immigration executive order (which was certainly an aggressive assertion of presidential power), he responded differently from the Obama administration when it faced similar judicial setbacks. Rather than race to the Supreme Court in the attempt to expand presidential authority, it backed up (yes, amid considerable presidential bluster) and told the Ninth Circuit that it intends to rewrite and rework the order to address the most serious judicial concerns and roll back its scope.
Indeed, if you peel back the layer of leftist critiques of Trump’s early actions and early hires, they contain a surprising amount of alarmism over the rollback of governmental power.
Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer.
Writing for LewRockwell.com — the eponymous website of Lew Rockwell, former congressional chief of staff of Ron Paul — on March 6, 2017, Hagopian voices an assertion shared by many — that Barack Obama has set up a shadow government to subvert and overturn the legitimately-elected presidency of Donald John Trump. Referring to FBI Director James Comey’s reported rejection of President Trump’s claim of having been illegally wiretapped by the Obama administration, Hapopian writes:
The United States federal government in Washington is under attack today. Our nation’s capital is presently under siege, not from military bombs or rockets fired by any foreign enemy but from powerful enemies within. With Obama-Hillary-Soros forces ostensibly maneuvering outside official government channels, against America’s legitimately elected President Trump, and their loyalist foot soldiers – the neocons and intelligence community loyalists within the CIA/NSA/FBI still operating inside deep state, criminally conspiring with Mainstream Media, this sinister alliance is also organizing legions of clueless young leftist protesters to be at the ready for deployment in the streets to wreak havoc violently rioting as paid agitator insurgents. What we have here on our hands is an American Spring uprising, an insurgent regime change operation taking place right here in our own country currently bent on overthrowing America’s existing “democratically elected” government.
We know that:
Unlike other ex-presidents, Obama has chosen to remain in Washington, D.C., in a rented townhouse just two miles from the White House.
As reported by Leon Wagener for the Daily Mail, March 1, 2017:
Barack Obama is turning his new home in the posh Kalorama section of the nation’s capital – just two miles away from the White House – into the nerve center of the mounting insurgency against his successor, President Donald J. Trump.
Obama’s goal, according to a close family friend, is to oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment.
And Obama is being aided in his political crusade by his longtime consigliere, Valerie Jarrett, who has moved into the 8,200-square-foot, $5.3-million Kaloroma mansion with the former president and Michelle Obama, long time best friends.
But a shadow government requires money, and not just money from George Soros’ various foundations that, we know, fund protests and riots. In the video below, FoxNews reports that the House Judiciary Committee discovered that right before he left the White House, Obama had set up a slush fund with multi-billions of taxpayer dollars in the Department of Justice, the money of which went into a number of “liberal” outside groups, including:
Could also be titled: Can’t Believe I Have to link to FOX.
This is an annoying clip, but the information is hard to deny.
Obviously Obama didn’t have to order the wiretapping himself but the fact is that his administration was tapping Trump and even though nothing was found, that information was illegally going to the press and Clinton team before and after the election to try to undermine the Trump administration with unsubstantiated, and outright false claims.
After Donald Trump went public with accusations of politically-motivated wiretapping by the previous administration, The New York Times tries to erase evidence of their own reporting using those same classified wiretaps.
The January 20th print version of the article headline says, “Wiretapped Data Used In Inquiry Of Trump Aides.”
After Trump’s tweet dump on March 5th, the online version of the same article’s headline now contains no mention of wiretapping.