Bannon Receives Three Standing Ovations at GOP Convention Keynote

Steve Bannon(Orange County, CA)  Breitbart News Executive Chairman and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon delivered a fiery keynote address to about 500 people at the opening dinner of the California Republican Party’s Fall Convention Friday night, praising President Trump and declaring war on the GOP establishment.

Stepping out from behind the podium, comfortably walking about the stage, Bannon gave a forty-minute-long speech covering a myriad of issues that began with effusive praise of President Trump, the importance of winning and how victories beget victories, and about the great challenge ahead in taking on the, “corporatists, lobbyists, consultants, and the politicians they control.”

In referring to his work with President Trump, Bannon said early in his remarks, “I’ve had the honor of being the CEO of his campaign, the chief strategist in the white house — and now I’m proud to say his wingman outside.”

“Donald Trump has been an existential threat to the system,” Bannon declared to overwhelming applause from the audience.

Bannon went on to talk about the importance of the recent victory of Judge Roy Moore in the Republican U.S. Senate runoff election in Alabama.

“We had to prove something,” Bannon said. “That the donor class and Mitch McConnell’s money doesn’t mean anything. They spent $32 million dollars against $2 million from Judge Roy Moore.  Judge Moore won 45-55.  It was the politics of personal destruction.  It was against Judge Moore and his wife…  And you know what they said his big crime was… he put the ten commandments in the city hall… The underpinnings of Judeo-Christian thought.”

Bannon talked quite a bit about the pieces of the winning coalition that won the Presidency for Trump and the Alabama GOP Senate nomination for Roy Moore – populists, nationalists, and Christians.

Bannon reminded the convention attendees that it is time to win in Washington, D.C.  He said that if we are going to do that we need unity on the right – and if Republicans can’t get together on Capitol Hill and actually get things done, “We’ll be run out of office, and deserve it.”

He said his vision for a united conservative movement is going to be executed by a “grassroots army.”

“It’s about one thing – are you a citizen of the United States of America?” Bannon asked the audience.  “Economic nationalism is not what’s going to drive us apart, it’s what’s going to bring us together.  GDP isn’t everything.  We are not an economy. We are a country.  We have a social fabric.  I’m a free market capitalist.  That’s the underpinnings of our society.  Economic nationalism means ensuring that jobs that we have allowed to go to Asia come back to the United States.”

Bannon said that American citizens should have a preference for jobs and economic opportunity.  And that people should have to compete against foreign labor and illegal alien labor.  He also decried Europe as being a protectorate of the United States, making no effort to protect themselves.  He said that this is changing, “It’s not that we are being isolationists. We have to start thinking like adults… We have to stop worrying about these global institutions… The rules-based international order has worked for everybody except the united states of America.”

“President Bush embarrassed himself,” Bannon said as he offered a stinging critique of President George W. Bush after the former President’s recent public criticisms of President Trump. “It is clear he didn’t understand anything he was talking about.  He had no idea whether he was coming or going.  Just like when he was President of the United States. There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush’s.”

Bannon’s strong criticism of Bush was met with a lot of applause in the GOP audience – which drew a surprised look from those in the room who clearly were not pleased someone speaking ill of the former Republican President.

It wasn’t just President Bush who was singled out by Bannon for his recent remarks, Bannon also was critical of U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ).  While careful to praise McCain for his service to the country, he said that McCain’s speech this week was “nothing but happy talk.”

Former President Bush and Senator McCain were both booed by the Republican audience.

At one point, Bannon also heckled Karl Rove. He said that he’d like to insult the establishment Republican consultant for his recent less-than-kind op-ed attacking the Breitbart Executive Chairman in the Wall Street Journal, but he “doesn’t like punching down.”

Bannon was also highly critical of China and President Xi Jinping. Bannon said that the Chinese, “have run the tables on us” – and that the United States has become a tributary state to China.”

Being here in California, Bannon targeted the tech leaders in the Silicon Valley, “We are going to have to worry about the Lords of technology in the Silicon Valley.  You’ve got a very dangerous thing going on in this state.”

In talking to the blue state crowd of Californians before him, Bannon said, “Winning matters.  You’re not here to waste your time.  You don’t want moral victories.  You want victory victories.  It’s time in California we started having some victories.

Bannon critiqued the actions of the left-wing Democrats in Sacramento and their making California a sanctuary state, warning everyone present: “You are a sanctuary state.  Trust me if you don’t roll this back — ten or fifteen years from now the folks from the Silicon Valley and the progressive left in this state are going to try and secede from this state.”

He went on to tell beleaguered California Republicans, “The resistance is not the people you see outside,” referring to the small group of protesters.  That’s actually, quite frankly, going to help Republicans” – saying that they will push the Democrats to the left.

In his final statement to the crowd, Bannon closed by admonishing the crowd, “It’s always darkest before the dawn…  The permanent political class who control this country and the progressive Democrats who sit on the other side of that are not just going to give this country back.  You’re going to have to take it back!”

When Bannon entered the dining room he was greeted with applause, a theme that continued with more applause throughout his forty minute speech at this dinner packed with GOP donors, activists and smattering of elected officeholders.  One notable dinner guest who came in from out of town was controversial former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of Arizona.  While Orange County is represented by four GOP Members of Congress – Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) – none of them were in attendance.

As Bannon’s remarks concluded, the buzz and energy in the room were palpable.  Reactions to the speech were effusive:

“He talked to us like we were adults and I think that terrifies the elitists,” said Jan Leja, the head of the San Bernardino County Republican Party. “And he’s not afraid to talk to us like adults and I think that was refreshing.”

Jim Lacy, a delegate from Orange County said that “Everything that Steve Bannon said about the leadership of President Trump was right on the mark – and his honest predictions about the long-term detrimental impacts of California becoming a sanctuary state.”

Grover Norquist, the President of Americans for Tax Reform, who was in the audience told Breitbart News, “It’s could have been a complaint speech but it wasn’t – it was an action speech — it was a call to war.”

Security was tight for the dinner – with all delegates and guests forced into two single-file lines and through metal detectors. Guests paid $100 for a plated dinner of filet mignon, or $300 to attend a VIP reception and the dinner, and get a photo with Bannon.  It was reported that protestors from the group Indivisible, that purports to be dedicated to preserving the “progressive ecosystem,” would be holding a major protest outside of the hotel.  That said, only a small handful of people showed up, and were dwarfed by a large contingent of officers from the Anaheim Police Department.

Until August, Bannon served in the Trump White House, and he is now spearheading a national effort to draft primary challengers to establishment Republican lawmakers.

As the Breitbart News Network previously reported Bannon has started meeting with notable Republican donors, many of whom remain frustrated by the Republican establishment’s inability to pass significant legislation such as repealing and replacing Obamacare, tax reform, and funding a southern border wall.

Bannon’s remarks opened a convention that will also feature speeches from Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro and House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

He received three standing ovations. One when he was introduced, the second at the start of his address, and again upon conclusion.

Jon Fleischman is the Politics Editor for Breitbart California. You can follow him on Twitter here.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

The Unmasking of President Barack Obama

obama45President Donald Trump was ridiculed in March when he made this bold tweet:

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism.”

The FBI was under orders from Obama political operatives and officials to wiretap Trump Tower. And these intelligence actions have grave consequences for California as we are under a North Korean nuclear threat that is growing daily.

Unfortunately, government breaches under the Obama administration are nothing new. The United States Office of Personal Management breach (the main hiring and vetting arm of the U.S. government) occurred in 2013. CNN has admitted Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was wiretapped and Trump’s conversations were likely caught up in Obama’s intelligence apparatus. CNN has also begrudgingly confirmed that candidate-Trump’s U.S. Constitution Fourth Amendment rights were violated. If President Obama didn’t know this was happening it was a gross dereliction of duty and this also makes Trump less likely to assist California as our debt and health care costs explode.

Top Obama intelligence and national security officials who unmasked Americans and foreigners without proper Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrants for wiretapping have never been prosecuted or even thoroughly questioned. Imagine if President George W. Bush had wiretapped then-candidate Obama’s campaign manager – David Plouffe – for contacts with foreign governments when Senator Obama gave a 2008 campaign speech at the Berlin Brandenburg Gate speech. Would the U.S. media or Trump-bashers from each party ever cover the story with the same vigor as they have violations against Trump? Yet California policymakers continue pushing this narrative that the presidential election was rigged via the Russians. However, nothing conclusive has ever come from extensive investigations when Obama’s intelligence breaches are more damaging than the false Russian collusion story.

These are the high-ranking Obama officials that have been caught unmasking American and foreign officials: former U.N. ambassador Samantha Powers who supposedly tried to “unmask American citizens on a daily basis,” former CIA Director John Brennan, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates who both admitted, “they reviewed communications of political figures, secretly collected under President Obama.” The most damning part of these revelations is the acknowledgement that:

U.S. intelligence agencies secretly monitored conversation of members of the U.S. Congress while the Obama administration negotiated the Iran nuclear deal.”

Seemingly, U.S. intelligence agencies had been weaponized, and that has far-reaching implications for how allies and American voters moving forward trust the CIA, FBI, NSA, the U.S. Justice Department and the White House. These actions caused a U.S. FISA Court judge to tell the National Security Agency, “They had an institutional lack of candor.” In 2013 Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper assured Congress that the NSA “wasn’t collecting any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Where was Congressman Adam Schiff, a staunch anti-Trump Democrat to expose the actions of Obama’s intelligence officials? The issue becomes how can allies and others who aren’t staunch California Democrats trust any president if this happened under Obama’s watch?

American intelligence agencies under Obama look like the old East German Stasi secret police spying on citizens, allies and whomever they deem against their agenda for political purposes. Even Obama allies weren’t immune to attack. In 2011 Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, was wiretapped and in 2014 the CIA under John Brennan got caught spying on Senate Intelligence Committee staffers.

U.S. allies in Europe, NATO, Southeast Asia and, more importantly, California should be asking what else Obama did to undermine their governments and policies through secret wiretaps and surveillance.

The FBI also shouldn’t be trusted when it continued wiretapping President-elect Trump’s top advisers without his notification. The reality was the incoming head of the U.S. government was being secretly “wiretapped” and somehow Barack Obama had no idea it was happening. That’s incredibly hard to believe that he didn’t know his intelligence officials and agencies were surveilling at least half a dozen top Trump officials – and that’s just what we know about so far.

But these illegal intelligence actions also included private citizens; particularly journalist, also in possible violation of U.S. constitutional rights. An internal email exposed by Wikileaks from the global intelligence firm Stratfor shows the depth of political targeting:

“Dated Sept. 21, 2010, [John] Brennan [then an Obama Homeland Security adviser] is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources. There is a specific tasker (political operative) from the WH (White House) to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda. Even the FBI is shocked.”

The Obama administration got caught monitoring journalists at Fox News, The Associated Press and CBS News. Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News alleges in an ongoing federal lawsuit that her computers were hacked by “an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasion, confirming her previous revelation of hacking. Ms. Attkisson, through forensic investigation in her suit, has shown dates, times and methods of illegal activities used against her through software that only the U.S. government had access to during Obama’s presidency. A computer forensic expert assisting Ms. Attkisson confirmed to a U.S. court:

This wasn’t a mistake; it is not a random event and it is not technically possible for these IP addresses to simply appear on her computer systems without activity by someone using them as part of the cyber-attack.

The bigger issue isn’t Donald Trump’s tweets saying Obama spied on him, instead it’s that foreign and American media along with quasi-news sites continually publishing false and misleading quotes and stories stating this isn’t true. That puts California in the political crosshairs of the Trump administration but staying silent when impeachable offenses by the former president occur. This undermines our representative democracy no matter which party is in charge.

Former Obama officials now vie for innocence through implying anyone suggesting the former president or his officials are guilty of Stasi-like behavior of having “vivid imaginations,” and “conveniently dismissing forensic evidence from three independent examinations.” The truth is these illegal actions had taken place for years. In light of the geopolitical earthquakes taking place in North Korea, Russia, Iran, Syria – and the brewing war between Shia and Sunni interests in the Middle East – why would any ally, country or foe that could be turned into an ally trust the United States? That should shivers down California’s collective spine. We need allies to help us fight the hegemonic Iranians, geopolitical monsters in Beijing, and the newly minted Russian tsar in the Kremlin.

Blame whoever you want: the deep state, Obama administration holdovers, Trump enemies or the unchecked intelligence agencies, but privacy concerns for domestic and foreign interests coinciding with abusive polices are ruining the US’ ability to have cogent intelligence for the President, Congress and Allies. Senator Feinstein sits on the Senate Foreign Intelligence committee and these treasonous actions should have her questioning what she receives from US intelligence agencies. But she hasn’t publicly stated anything to deny, confirm or attempt to understand these charges.

FISA warrants, which originally were for “foreign spies inside the U.S.,” now has far-reaching legal reach and an entire surveillance apparatus that is abusing power like never before. FISA section 702 as an example allows collection of data from Google, Facebook and other social media sites if it’s deemed a foreign power or individual is under investigation.

Neither Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice, John Brennan, James Clapper, Samantha Power, or previously fired FBI Director, James Comey won’t speak to congressional investigators or Robert Mueller’s commission about this unlawful behavior then rogue regimes across the world will continue to believe the U.S. and its allies are weak; and ripe for the taking. Putin, Xi and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard will take advantage of apparent U.S. weakness. I’d argue Trump would defend other U.S. states before he even considers California, because we have looked the other way at Obama’s intelligence treachery.

Obama and his top officials seem satisfied to let all of this wretched behavior fade away since the world’s media hates Donald Trump. Better to mock his tweets than to actually take them seriously – especially in light of them now being true. Before Trump’s presidency ends he may need to pardon Obama for crimes against U.S. citizens, its government and any foreign entity caught up in his thug-like surveillance and wiretapping net. California policymakers better take notice or the fires that come from these revelations could make the Northern California fires seem like a candle flickering in the night.

Todd Royal is a geopolitical risk and energy consultant based in Los Angeles.

In California’s war on Trump, everyone loses

Donald TrumpFor a state so enamored with passing laws, California can seem awfully lawless sometimes. Our progressive Legislature and elected leaders have decided to make political and litigious war on the duly elected president of the United States.

The Resistance is here!

Truth is, Donald Trump has driven them all a bit batty. Our legislators have become so unmoored that even Gov. Jerry Brown — who just the other week signed the self-destructive “sanctuary state” law — had to step in and veto legislation requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns. Brown said that as politically appealing as such a law might be, he was uncomfortable with California setting election policy for the country.

It’s nice to see the light of reality break through the progressive miasma once in a while. If only some of that light could break through the state attorney general’s office.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Wednesday announced he’s seeking a restraining order to stop the Trump administration from ending Obamacare’s reimbursements to insurance companies. California is one of 17 states challenging the decision, which would cut off $10 billion in subsidies. The lawsuit is a fool’s errand, of course, but entirely in character with Becerra’s strategy of suing the administration at every turn, regardless of the merits. …

Click here to read the full article at the Sacramento Bee

Related content: California’s War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Allowing Felons To Vote In Jail

Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to restore the voting rights of convicted felons serving time in county jails.

The bill that Brown announced signing Wednesday also reinstates the voting eligibility of felons on probation or under community supervision beginning next year. It does not affect those in state or federal prisons.

AB2466 stems from California’s criminal justice realignment, which led to some people convicted of low-level felonies serving time in county jails.

Republican lawmakers say felons should not be allowed to cast ballots while serving a sentence, with Sen. Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel saying it compromises the integrity of elections. …

Click here to read the full story from the Associated Press

 

City of Stockton to Consider America’s First Basic Income Grant

StocktonThe city of Stockton, California, is planning to offer a basic income grant of $500 per month to poor residents, making it the first U.S. city to provide a guaranteed income.

Mayor Michael Tubbs announced the program on Wednesday, according to Capital Public Radio. “This is not a handout, it’s a hand up,” he reportedly said. The program is to be privately funded by the Economic Security Project, which Capital Public Radio describes as “a network of researchers, elected leaders, and organizers” and which is run by Facebook co-founder and Barack Obama campaign veteran Chris Hughes.

Stockton declared bankruptcy in 2012, a result of high pension costs, economic stagnation, and “a 15-year spending binge.” Though the city and its finances have recovered somewhat, and the city emerged from bankruptcy in 2015, poverty remains a problem.

The idea of a guaranteed basic income has been gaining traction lately, largely thanks to the advocacy of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has suggested it may become necessary in the future as technological innovation pushes more people out of traditional jobs.

“We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas,” Zuckerberg said in May at the commencement ceremony at Harvard University.

In a Facebook post in July, Zuckerberg touted Alaska’s Permanent Fund — which pays dividends to residents every year from a portion of oil and gas revenues — as an example of a successful basic income grant. However, few states have Alaska’s vast resources and low population.

Others in Silicon Valley have also advocated for the idea. The Stockton pilot project will reportedly involve 25 to 75 families.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

CA GOP Has Fared Poorly in ‘Jungle Primary’ Era

VotedOver the past few weeks, leading into the California Republican Party’s convention in Orange County this weekend, there have been mailings supporting the argument that the “top two” or “jungle primary” system created by Proposition 14 in 2010 is a good idea.

It is not a good idea – at least not for conservatives. In fact, as the California Republican Party itself predicted when it strongly opposed the passage of Prop 14, it has been a disaster.

Prop. 14 changed the way elections for partisan office are held in California. Prior to its passage, each qualified political party held a primary in June, and the winner of that primary would advance to a general election ballot featuring all of the nominees of each party, as well as independent candidates.

Under the new system all candidates run in June, and the top two vote-getters advance to the general election.

Since Prop. 14’s passage, not a single Republican has been elected to statewide office. Since the passage of Prop. 14, there are fewer Republicans in Congress from California. Since the passage of Prop. 14, there are fewer Republicans in the State Senate. Since the passage of Prop. 14 there are fewer Republicans in the State Assembly.

Now, is Prop. 14 totally responsible for flagging GOP numbers in partisan elected offices? Of course not. But it certainly is not helping the Grand Old Party pick up numbers, as proponents said it would do.

I think it is important for us all to remember how we ended up with Prop.14 in the first place. Back in 2009, a terrible budget deal was brokered by insiders. Then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with legislative leaders from both political parties, pushed through what was at the time the largest tax increase in the history of California. In order to get the deal done, three Republicans in each chamber had to vote for it. One of the three GOP votes in the Senate, Abel Maldonado, refused to vote for the deal unless the so-called “open primary” measure was placed on the ballot as part of the deal. So a terrible deal was made worse.

Governor Schwarzenegger then championed the ballot measure, raising millions of dollars to pass it.  And Maldonado, who campaigned for its passage, was rewarded with an appointment as Lieutenant Governor – but he was rejected by the voters when he ran for election as the appointed incumbent.

Just days after the tax-increase was passed, the state GOP gathered in Sacramento and passed a scathing resolution cutting off party funding to those Republicans who voted for the tax increase.

The delegates to the California Republican Party, when Prop. 14 was on the ballot, voted overwhelmingly to oppose the measure. And for good reason. First and foremost, eliminating the right of every political party to nominate a candidate in June, and have its nominee appear on the general election ballot, has meant that many races have no Republican on the ballot in the general election. The most glaring example was last year’s U.S. Senate race, where voters in November had to choose between then-Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) or then-U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez (D).

Prop. 14 has also created circumstances in which the general election is a food-fight between two Republicans, bringing an intra-party feud to the general election.

And, of course, the open primary has led to much higher costs to campaign (candidates now have to talk to every voter in June, and again in November). This higher cost for elections has worked out just fine for the Democrats, whose coalition includes very well-funded interests like the California Teachers Association.

In fact, at this weekend’s convention, there is a somewhat quixotic proposal to create a process for the State GOP delegates to have a vote – kind of a straw poll – to potentially endorse candidates in statewide races.  But that endorsement would not be binding on anyone, and of course would not limit ballot access to the endorsed Republican candidate alone. It is doubtful as to whether a candidate endorsed by the California Republican Party would have an advantage unless the party spends party resources to help communicate its endorsement to Republican voters. No one thinks that will happen.

Proponents of Prop. 14 also said that its passage would lead to a more moderate California legislature. However, as impossible as it once seemed, the state legislature has become more liberal than ever before! In fact, if you have money, which the liberal interest groups in the state do, Prop. 14 gives you more power, not less.

California Democrats have moved to the left. But on the GOP side, there has not been an offsetting move to the right. On the contrary, it seems like there are more Republicans than ever before who are willing to vote with Democrats for bad public policy, including big tax increases.

There is no better example, of course, than the recent vote to extend the state’s “Cap and Tax” program – the result of which is a GOP patina on a draconian program and an estimated over $25 billion in higher taxes over a decade!  Democrats control the legislature now with super-majorities in each chamber. If Prop. 14 was working out poorly for them, they could just vote to place a repeal of it onto the ballot.

The California Republican Party faces many challenges. But Prop. 14 has made the path forward more difficult, not less, for Republicans in the Golden State.

Jon Fleischman is the Politics Editor for Breitbart California.  His columns appear regularly on this page.  You can follow him on Twitter here.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

California Tells Pet Stores Their Dogs and Cats Must Be Rescues

In a blow to commercial animal breeders and brokers, California pet stores will soon have to get their puppies, kittens and rabbits from shelters and rescue centers only.

Individuals can still buy from private breeders. But beginning in January 2019, it will be illegal for stores to do so. Violators will face a fine of $500.

The bill, A.B. 485, had strong support from several animal welfare organizations, which cheered it as a blow to “puppy mills” and “kitten factories” that mass produce animals for sale, often in inhumane conditions. It was written by two California Assembly members, Patrick O’Donnell and Matt Dababneh, both Democrats, and signed into law on Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

California is the first state to pass such legislation, though it is following dozens of its own cities and jurisdictions, which have passed similar measures on a smaller scale. …

Click here to read the full story from the New York Times

Progressive Cities: Home of the Worst Housing Inequality

America’s most highly regulated housing markets are also reliably the most progressive in their political attitudes. Yet in terms of gaining an opportunity to own a house, the price impacts of the tough regulation mean profound inequality for the most disadvantaged large ethnicities, African-Americans and Hispanics.

Based on the housing affordability categories used in the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey for 2016 (Table 1), housing inequality by ethnicity is the worst among the metropolitan areas rated “severely unaffordable.” In these 11 major metropolitan area markets, the most highly regulated, median multiples (median house price divided by median household income) exceed 5.0. For African-Americans, the median priced house is 10.2 times median incomes. This is 3.7 more years of additional income than the overall average in these severely unaffordable markets, where median house prices are 6.5 times median household incomes. It is only marginally better for Hispanics, with the median price house at 8.9 times median household incomes, 2.4 years more than the average in these markets (Figure 1).

The comparisons with the 13 affordable markets (median multiples of 3.0 and less) is even more stark. For African-American households things are much better than in the more progressive and most expensive metropolitan areas. The median house prices is equal to 4.6 years of median income, 5.5 years less than in the severely affordable markets. Moreover, for African-Americans, housing affordability is only marginally worse than the national average in the affordable market.

Things are even better for Hispanics, who would find the median house price 3.8 times median incomes, 5.1 years less than in the severely affordable markets. This is better than the national average housing affordability.

Among the four markets rated “seriously unaffordable,” (median multiple from 4.1 to 5.0) the inequality is slightly less, with African-Americans finding median house prices equal to 2.2 years of additional income compared to average. The disadvantage for Hispanics is 1.5 years.

In contrast, inequality is significantly reduced in the less costly “moderately unaffordable” markets (median multiple of 3.1 to 4.0) and the “affordable” markets (median multiple of 3.0 and less).

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The discussion below describes the 10 largest and smallest housing affordability gaps for African-American and Hispanic households relative to the average household, within the particular metropolitan markets. The gaps within ethnicities compared to the affordable markets would be even more. The four charts all have the same scale (a top housing affordability gap of 10 years) for easy comparison.

Largest Housing Affordability Gaps: African American

African-Americans have the largest housing affordability inequality gap. And these gaps are most evident in some of the nation’s most progressive cities. The largest gap is in San Francisco, where the median income African-American household faces median house prices that are 9.3 years of income more than the average. In nearby San Jose ranks the second worst, where the gap is 6.2 years. Overall, the San Francisco Bay Area suffers by far the area of least housing affordability for African-Americans compared to the average household.

Portland, long the darling of the international urban planning community, ranks third worst, where the median income African-American household to purchase the median priced house. Milwaukee and Minneapolis – St. Paul ranked fourth and fifth worst followed by Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Chicago (Figure 2).

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Largest Housing Affordability Gaps: Hispanics

Two of the three worst positions are occupied by the two metropolitan areas in the San Francisco Bay Area. The worst housing affordability gap for Hispanics is in San Jose, a more than one-quarter Hispanic metropolitan area where the median income Hispanic household would require 5.0 years of additional income to pay for the median priced house compared to the average. Boston ranks second worst at 3.9. San Francisco third worst at 3.3 years. Providence and New York rank fourth and fifth worst. The second five worst housing inequality for Hispanics is in San Diego, Hartford, Rochester, Philadelphia and Raleigh (Figure 3).

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The San Francisco Bay Area: “Inequality City”

Perhaps no part of the country is more renowned for its progressive politics and politicians than the San Francisco Bay Area. Yet, in housing equality, the Bay Area is anything but progressive. If the African-American and Hispanic housing inequality measures are averaged, disadvantaged minorities face house prices that average approximately 6.25 years more years of median income in San Francisco and 5.60 more years of median income in San Jose.

Moreover, no one should imagine that recent state law authorizing a $4 billion “affordable housing” bond election will have any significant impact. According to the Sacramento Bee, voter approval would lead to 70,000 new housing units annually, when the need for low and very low income households is 1.5 million. The bond issue would do virtually nothing for the many middle-income households who are struggling to pay the insanely high housing costs California’s regulatory nightmare has developed.

Smallest Housing Affordability Gaps: African-American

Tucson has the smallest housing affordability gap for African-Americans. In Tucson, the median income African-American household would pay approximately 0.4 years (four months) more in income for the median priced house than the average household. In San Antonio, Atlanta and Tampa – St. Petersburg, the housing affordability gaps are under 1.0. Houston, Riverside – San Bernardino, Virginia Beach – Norfolk, Memphis, Dallas – Fort Worth and Birmingham round out the second five. It may be surprising that eight of the metropolitan areas with the smallest housing affordability gaps for African-Americans are in the South and perhaps most surprisingly of all that one of the best, at number 10, is Birmingham. (Figure 4).

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Smallest Housing Affordability Gaps: Hispanic

Among Hispanic households, the smallest housing affordability gap is in Pittsburgh, where the median priced house would require less than 10 days more in median income for a Hispanic household compared the overall average. In Jacksonville the housing affordability gap for Hispanics would be less than two months. In Baltimore, Birmingham, St. Louis and Cincinnati, the median house price is the equivalent of less than six months of median income for an Hispanic household. Detroit, Memphis, Virginia Beach – Norfolk and Cleveland round out the ten smallest housing affordability gaps for Hispanics (Figure 5).

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Housing Affordability is the Best for Asians

Recent American Community Survey data indicated that Asians have median household incomes a quarter above those of White Non-– Hispanics. This advantage is also illustrated in the housing affordability data. Asians have better housing affordability than White Non-– Hispanics in 37 of the 53 major metropolitan areas (over 1 million population).

The Importance of Housing Opportunity

Housing opportunity is important. African-Americans and Hispanics already face challenges given their generally lower incomes. However, by no serious political philosophy, progressive or otherwise, should any ethnicity find themselves even further disadvantaged by political barriers, such as have been created by over-zealous land and housing regulators.

Cross-posted at New Geography.

isiting professor, Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris

GOP Tax Reform Boosts Wages According to Boston University Researchers

TAX REFORM UPDATE!!

Researchers at Boston University Agree!

In a study published this morning analyzing the economic and revenue impacts of the Republican “Unified Framework” Tax Plan, researchers found:

  • The new Republican tax plan raises GDP by between 3 and 5 percent and real wages by between 4 and 7 percent.
  • This translates into roughly $3,500 annually, on average, per working American household.
  • The source of the increase in U.S. output and real wages is the UF plan’s reduction in the U.S. marginal effective corporate tax rate from 34.6 percent to 18.6 percent.
  • According to their model, the U.S. corporate income tax represents a hidden tax on U.S. workers.

Click here to go directly to the study

Corporate Tax Reform and Wages: Theory and Evidence

New analysis from the Council of Economic Advisers proves:

  • Reducing the statutory federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent would increase the average household income in the United States by, very conservatively, $4,000 annually.
  • The increases recur each year, and the estimated total value of corporate tax reform for the average U.S. household is therefore substantially higher than $4,000 à The most optimistic estimates from literature show wages could boost more than $9,000 for the average household.
    • A 15 percent corporate rate cut could increase average household incomes from $83,143 in 2016 to between $87,520 and $92,222.
    • Median household income — meaning earnings for more of a typical household — would rise from $59,039 to between $62,147 and $65,486.
  • Literature finds countries with low corporate tax rates have seen higher wage gains than countries with high corporate tax rates.

Click here to link to study in its entirety

A Fairer Tax Code Is a More Efficient Tax Code

Tax formThe last time we saw comprehensive tax reform in this country was also the last time UCLA won a Rose Bowl (1986), so we are talking about a long, long time. We know there have been several tax cuts, and tax increases, since then, but as for some legislative attempt to drive a change in the overall system of tax policy in this country, it has not happened in over 30 years. It would be easy to argue that partisan polarization is the cause of this legislative difficulty, but that would be inaccurate. Partisanship did not keep welfare reform or comprehensive trade agreements from being done in the 1990s. Partisanship did not keep significant national-security endeavors from passing in the 2000s. And President Obama’s reelection in 2012 coincided with the sunsetting of the George W. Bush tax cuts, creating one of the more bipartisan agreements in recent history, when Vice President Biden and Senate majority leader McConnell negotiated a permanent extension of the tax cuts that resulted in more favorable treatment for investment tax and estate tax and left the individual rates at the lower levels of the Bush plan, besides at the top rate. Bottom line: Partisans have done plenty of bipartisan work over the last 30 years; they just haven’t done it when it comes to reforming something that is broken.

The term tax reform is pivotal here. Tax cuts scream for people who pay too much in taxes wanting to pay less (fair enough). Tax reform implies something is structurally unfair, and therefore needing reformation. We do not need to reform that which is already good and right. Sure, we may turn a knob here and there on levels, but reform is more comprehensive, and more reactive. The catalyst to reforming something is admitting something needs to be reformed.

The catalyst for 2017/18 tax reform is a broken tax code, and that brokenness is most evident in two places: A brutally non-competitive business tax code that hasn’t come close to dealing with the global realities of the last 30 years; and a glut of tax brackets and deductions that are too confusing, too easy to manipulate, and too divorced from simplicity and fairness. Yes, the rates are too high, both individually and corporately, but beyond that, the system is not right. The efforts of the Trump administration, led by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, and the GOP leadership of the House and Senate, seek to use a new tax-reform bill to attack the fundamentals of what is broken in the tax code (a non-competitive corporate code) and clean up around the edges as well (alternative minimum tax (AMT), pass-through entities, etc.).

The math of passing tax reform is difficult because of Senate rules on reconciliation. To attach it to a budget bill and thereby enable 51-vote passage, the impact the tax plan can have on overall revenue (and therefore deficits) is limited. “Dynamic scoring” — the reality of supply-side math that pro-growth tax cuts move us in the right direction on Laffer’s Curve — allows for some more liberal use of this parliamentary reconciliation reality. But at the end of the day, the White House is limited in how much it can reform the tax code without “pay-fors” — offsets and such that will enable the plan to be scored within budget-reconciliation math.

After the inevitable death of the ghastly “border adjustment tax” idea, the best “pay-for” available is eliminating the deductibility of state and local taxes against federal tax liability. Should that tax deduction be eliminated, the comprehensive business tax reform needed (a 20 percent rate vs. a 35 percent rate, a territorial system, repatriation of foreign profits, and the elimination of nearly all special-interest deductions) can become reality. And yet the path to tax reform is being blocked by those who would hold on to the abysmal deductibility of state tax — a blockage being promoted by Republicans and Democrats alike (who says they never do anything on a bipartisan basis?).

Who would want to hold onto the deductibility of state taxation? Well, legislators in high-tax states, for one, who fear little consequence from the residents of low-tax states who end up footing the bill for their fiscal recklessness. In fact, the sole source of opposition to eliminating this deduction has come from blue state California, blue state New Jersey, blue state New York, and blue state Connecticut. Unfortunately, the fact that these states are all blue does not mean this is leftist partisanship, because the opposition is coming from Republican legislators and thought leaders in these states as well. That opposition underscores the fundamental need for reform — reform in our policy, but reform in our thinking as well.

There is never going to be reform that does not upset some people, somewhere in the tax food chain. If there could be such a thing, by definition, there would be no need for tax reform! The objective of a national tax-revenue system should be to fund the legitimate functions of government, and do so in a manner fair to the national self-interest, devoid of governmental favoritism or bias. The purpose of a tax system is not to implement social agendas, punish certain behaviors, reward certain behaviors, etc. The federal tax code is a funding matter, and it ought to be done in the least threatening way to growth and competitiveness possible. A 0 percent tax code is not a possibility, as competitive as it may be, as government has responsibilities, liabilities, and legitimate functions that require funding. But where funding can be achieved without compromising American economic growth, that must be the aim.

The business-investment tax code in our country is a disaster, and this is hardly denied by the other side of the aisle. The rate is too high, and the incentives for businesses to keep moneys offshore are gigantic. Additionally, the loopholes, deductions, and various ways in which certain privileged or selected companies benefit (while others do not) is a direct violation of the intent of the tax system. Simplification is the goal, and an even playing field that does not pick winners and losers is the aim. While I would prefer to get rid of the R&D credit (crony capitalism for pharma) and the low-income-housing credit (crony capitalism for real-estate developers), the proposed tax reform goes a long way towards equalizing the business code and creating a competitive scenario for our U.S. companies with large multinational presence.

So what is the hang-up? The aforementioned state-tax deductibility issue is being presented as a hang-up by Left and Right alike. Ironically, the concern the Left has always had with Republican tax maneuvering is that it unfairly assists those on the higher end of the wage spectrum. Here, the Democrats are supposedly upset about the loss of a tax deduction that, by definition, is used only by those on the higher end of the wage spectrum (those who itemize). But let’s look at the issue from the vantage point of Republican voters in high-tax blue states. Could it mean a higher overall net tax liability? That is very unlikely, since those most affected by this would be of such an income context that they have almost certainly been subject to the AMT anyways, a tax atrocity that was already disallowing the state-tax deduction. But for those who were not previously in AMT but are fearful of losing the state-tax deduction, two things must be said. First, no one knows whatsoever how their net picture would turn out in the new tax law, because the income levels receiving the new tax rates (12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent) have not been announced. Any attempt to model tax liability in the new system will be rank speculation.

Second, if a very small number of people end up paying more, not less, in the new system, it should have no bearing on what we believe about tax reform. I do not believe that will happen, and if it does, I think the net impact will be so small and affect so few, it will not even register. But even if it did, the fundamental question is whether or not residents of South Dakota and Texas should be footing the bill for a federal loss of revenue just because their states choose to run their affairs with a high degree of fiscal sensibility and wisdom. Tax reform is meant to reform what is broken, and the use of a state-tax deduction is discriminatory, unfair, and, worst of all, enabling. It enables high-tax states to make foolish decisions, to overly rely on highly cyclical income streams, to spend without regard to consequences, and to not factor in competitive realities across our cherished 50-state union.

The need of the hour is beneficiaries of the broken tax system to maintain advocacy for reform. The generation-long resistance to reform is a by-product of special interests and a mentality that replaces common-sense tax policy with gaming of the system. We can do better, and for those who know how badly this economy and our national fiscal situation need growth, we must.

David L. Bahnsen is a trustee at the National Review Institute, the managing partner of a bicoastal wealth management firm, and the author of forthcoming book, “Crisis of Responsibility.”

This article was originally published by the National Review