“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
— John Adams
The closing arguments for the 2018 campaign season are being made now and most candidate positions are well known by the voters of California District 25.
I’ve been following candidate Katie Hill on social media platforms to ascertain her perspectives, positions and values.
Recently, I watched with interest a campaign YouTube video dated Feb. 16 of this year, on the topic of tax policy. It contained more detail than the generic and anodyne Democratic Party talking points on her campaign web site.
Ms. Hill opens with the howler that the “Great Recession” was caused by “Bush era tax cuts.” Informed voters know there were multiple causation factors, but tax cuts weren’t one of them. This assertion reveals economic illiteracy and forms the basis for the rest of her statements.
She continues and asserts that “GOP tax cuts are more of the same old threat to our economy…” without supporting her absurd claim.
Next, she proposes, “Exempt the first $10,000 of income from Social Security tax,” undermining the basic foundational principle of Social Security, i.e., everyone contributes, and everyone benefits based on their contributions. Ms. Hill attempts to balance this by proposing removing the income cap on the Social Security tax.
I’m not a tax expert but I’d posit these proposed changes will further challenge an actuarily unsound Social Security system that doesn’t now have anywhere near the original worker-to-retiree ratio baseline established last century.
Moving to the next item, it’s taxing investment gains as regular income, reducing incentives to save and invest. More than half of Americans (52 percent) invest in stock, the lowest percentage noted by Gallup in a 19-year trend. Ms. Hill wants voters to believe she’s targeting Wall Street elites but instead she hits the middle class saving for their retirement.
She claims there would be exemptions for retirees, but voters should be skeptical of political promises that future Congresses aren’t bound to honor. Giving that money instead to the federal government isn’t a wise investment for anyone.
Next up, Ms. Hill proposes returning the USA to a non-competitive global corporate taxation system instead of the country-based taxation that the majority of our trading partners like Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, etc. have legislated. Like those countries, U.S.-based multinational profits are taxed in the countries where they’re generated.
Regressing back to a global taxation scheme will mean those net profits will revert to staying abroad instead of returning to the U.S. to be invested and taxed here at home. The net result would be fewer corporate taxes remitted to the U.S. Treasury.
The U.S. economy is booming, with record low unemployment for everyone, including minorities who have had much higher unemployment rates than the majority working population for decades. Gross domestic product growth has returned to normal post-recession recoveries, hitting 4.2 percent during the last quarter according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis division of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Let’s keep the momentum going instead of reverting to the stagnant growth policies of the last decade.
Examining Katie Hill’s campaign Twitter account, I found examples of questionable judgment and priorities.
After securing the Democratic Party nomination in June, in July Ms. Hill was in Washington, D.C., protesting the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, it’s the Senate, not the House of Representatives, that has advice and consent power to confirm Supreme Court justices.
Ms. Hill, ignoring our foundational legal principle of presumption of innocence, outrageously called Justice Kavanaugh a “serial predator” on Sept. 26.
Katie Hill is free to practice her activism as a private citizen, but she clearly lacks the economic expertise and judgment to represent California District 25 in the House of Representatives.
As a military and police veteran, with the additional experience as a local, state and congressional legislator, Rep. Steve Knight is demonstrably well qualified as our congressional representative and will continue to focus on local issues in the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Simi Valleys.
My family will vote to re-elect him to Congress.
Ron Bischof is a Santa Clarita resident. Guest commentaries from local residents appear as “SCV Voices.”