From where I sit, it was a good week

Ken Vance Editorial Clarkcountytoday.comRepublican tax plan allows most of us to keep more of our paychecks

I don’t know about you, but I got a nice surprise this week when I looked at my paystub, courtesy of the Republican tax plan that was finalized in December.

There are those who were critical of the Republicans’ efforts, stating that the tax plan would primarily benefit the wealthy and big business. But, all along, those elected officials advocating for the changes promised the majority of Americans would get to keep more of their paychecks and it appears they’ve delivered nicely on that promise.

I’m not going to reveal the amount that my net pay changed this week, but it was enough for me to take notice. Multiply that by 26 pay periods in a calendar year and it’s enough to put a smile on my face. Every member of our staff here at got to keep more of their earnings than they did two weeks ago and most reported the same was the case with their spouses and family members.

I don’t like labels because I don’t paint anyone with one broad stroke, but I’ve always considered myself a bit of a conservative, even though I make up my mind separately on each issue. I refuse to be pigeon-holed as someone who leans the same direction on every issue.

The more I learn, the more I think I’m closer to a libertarian. I’m all for an individual’s rights. I’m all for smaller government. I’m all for keeping as much of my earnings as possible. And, while I try to keep an open mind and respect the feelings of others, I don’t see why anyone would be against those things I just proclaimed a belief in.

The Republicans believe that the extra money all of us were able to keep this week and beyond will stimulate the economy. And, the theory professes the belief that the tax breaks given to businesses will help them be more profitable, leading to a lower unemployment rate and more productivity. Obviously, the critics — the non-believers of the Trickle Down Theory first introduced to me during the Ronald Reagan era — profess that any benefits are minimal and short-lived and will only grow the deficit and lead to long-term economic problems.

Only time will tell how the Republican tax plan will impact our economy over the long haul. Today, I’m feeling good about having more than a few extra dollars in my bank account. I see the Dow Jones Average over 26,000 and climbing. The unemployment rate is around 4 percent and trending downward. Gas prices have also declined in recent years.

If the sky is falling, I don’t see the indicators.

State of the Union

I tuned into the 2018 State of the Union address Tuesday night. I was eager to hear what President Trump had to say, but I must confess, I was more interested in the reaction of others to what he had to say.

The one poll I’ve seen distributed more than any other since Trump’s speech is the CBS News Poll that indicated 75 percent of viewers approved of the president’s speech and that eight out of 10 who were polled believed the president was trying to unite the country rather than divide it. 

Here’s a link to that poll

The post-speech analysis that I watched was nothing like those numbers. The narrative from the talking heads continued to profess that the president was being divisive and that he failed in his promise to attempt to unite the country.

The actions of the president’s opponents illustrated to me there was nothing he could have done to unite some of the elected officials in attendance. I saw members of Congress act like spoiled, petulant children. Some headed for the exit even before the president finished and most left almost immediately after he concluded.

I’ve said it before, I don’t expect everyone to respect the person who serves our country as president. But, I do expect elected officials to respect the office. The culture in our country over the past year has been demoralizing to me. I’m happy that it seems to be improving and if our economy continues to strengthen, I suspect the culture will continue to improve even more.

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