Letters to a Young Contrarian

There are very few books that earn a place on my bookshelf. I have 3 bookshelfs, but I have one shelf that hangs right over my desk that holds my absolute favorite, thought-provoking books. Even then, there are some that seem to stand out – but none can match Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens. Published back in 2001, Letters is a relatively new book, but within it’s pages it holds a beautifully written series of letters that are so profound – they will stand out as a truly philosophically outstanding work.

Letters to a Young Contrarian is a play on the book Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke – and just like Rilke included letters written to 19 year old Franz Kappus, Hitchens includes letters written to a fictional character (the reader) that perfectly encapsulates his indignation and intellect that he wishes to impart on the reader. Hitchens gracefully touches on a variety of issues from familiar territory such as religion, morality, government, and liberty to lesser known stories and facts ranging from Nathaniel Hawthorne to even Josef Goebbels.

It seems a daunting task to summarize the value of this book – but having have read and reread and rereread this work, I feel compelled to say something. Like all good works, there are pencil marks on just about every page with notes. From that, I have compiled some of the greatest lesson from each letter – so allow me the vain pleasure of taking it upon myself to summarize just a few of the lessons from this outstanding compilation.

“…when the celebrity culture and the spin-scum and the crooked lawyers and the pseudo-statesmen and the clerics seemed to have everything their own way. they will be back, of course. They will always be “back”. They never leave.”

Here, even in the preface of Hitchens works, we have amazing insights. This one, however, is something of a warning. The fight for liberty and independent thinking is a constant one. It is generation by generation, decade by decade, and year by year. In the first letter he expands on the ‘fight’ be introducing the reader (who Hitch refers to as “My Dear X”) by speaking about basic contrarian arguments but ends the chapter with an important lesson:

“To be in opposition is not to be a nihilist. And there is no decent or charted way of making a living at it. It is something you are, and not something you do.

It is a play on what Hitchens has been saying for years. I even have one remark on the cover image of this page, “The essence of an independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks”. It almost seems like a whole new enlightenment when one becomes an independent thinker – to know that you will never go back. it is a beautiful thing.

“It’s for this reason that I am quite sure of two thins. The first is that even uneducated people…have an innate capacity to resist and, if not even to think for themselves, to have thoughts occur to them… the second is that we do not naturally aspire to any hazy, narcotic Nirvana, where our critical and ironic faculties would be of no use to use.”

Again, expanding on his first point, Hitchens reminds us that independent thinking is not popular nor natural. He expands on that by pointing to the Bible with a witty jab, “Imagine a state of endless praise and gratitude and adoration, as the Testaments ceaselessly enjoin us to do, and you have conjured a world of hellish nullity and conformism.” Hitch actually warns against those who absolutely think they are right. Just this lesson alone would benefit the world in a way that could only be compared to the invention of the printing press.

“I suggest you learn to recognize and avoid symptoms of the zealot and the person who knows that he is right”

In the next few letters, we see more dissecting into illogical thinking patterns. The “decline of intellectual and moral standards” is completely explained and trashed by Hitch:

“They want god on their side and believe they are doing his work – what is this, even at its very best, but an extreme for of solipsism? They are from conclusion to evidence; our greatest resource is the mind, and the mind is not well-trained by being taught to assume what has to be proved.”

He has always been one to say that it is not to want to act against illogical irrational actions, but to have to act – and I think that ideal sums up his works as a whole:

“Allow a friend to believe in a bogus prospectus or a false promise and you cease, after a short while, to be a friend at all. How dare you intervene? As well ask, How dare you not?”

This compilation is only 141 pages long, but holds thoughts and ideas that are completely ahead of its time. Hitchens outlines the independent mind, dangerous thinkers, and conformist warnings that provides the reader with invaluable life lessons. I could write multiple articles about this book if I could! But to keep this under 1000 words, let me finish with one more quote (because any article about Christopher Hitchens is often filled with quotes):

“…everybody can do something, and that the role of dissident is not, and should not be, a claim of membership in a communion of saints…And of course, one never has to worry about there being a surplus of such people. Those who need or want to think for themselves will always be a minority…”

In Defense of “Aleppo Moments”

The number one criticism in the media – and therefor, everyone else – of Gary Johnson is his slip-ups in recent interviews. The most reveling part about this publicity is that Mr. Johnson has so little to attack. The fact that the media picks these self-proclaimed “Aleppo Moments” should be a good thing. Those who choose to bring up his slip-ups in casual debates just proves that they really have no idea who Gary Johnson is.

Mike Barnicle, the MSNBC commentator of the Morning Joe program had Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson on for a casual interview. The interview was mostly unwatched except for when Barnicle asked Johnson how he would address the refugee crisis in Aleppo to which he responded, “What is Aleppo?”  After some explaining from Barnicle, Johnson responded that the United States must respond with a coalition to improve the situation there.

adsfadfadfffff(Here is Aleppo by the way)

Now, on it’s surface, it does seem like a pretty big mistake. To the simple minded, it would appear Johnson is an airhead who does not know foreign policy basics. But when the conversation arises, I challenge you to ask the accuser to point out Aleppo on the world map. Chances are, they can’t do it. The most outstanding point one could hear is that Aleppo is the Syrian Capital (In fact, there are multiple Aleppo’s in Syria alone). This just proves they do not know what they are talking about. Aleppo is simply the major city in the heat of the Syrian Civil war (the capital is actually Damascus). You can see the video below:

 

The other, and more recent mess up was also on MSNBC when Chris Matthews, hosting the town hall meeting, asked Johnson to name his favorite foreign leader, or any foreign leader he admires. Again, those with a small attention span will proclaim, “Johnson doesn’t know any foreign leaders!” Some people can be so small minded.

Matthews continued when Johnson couldn’t think of an answer, “Go ahead, you gotta do this. Anywhere. Any continent. Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa. Name a foreign leader that you respect.”

Now, keep in mind that Johnson is a Libertarian – typically very skeptical of authority. The lack of an answer was simply due to the fact that Johnson probably does not idolize any living leader. Everyone has their faults and that was what Johnson was probably stuck on. He ended up saying, “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment in thinking of the name of the former president of Mexico” Luckily, Libertarian Vice-presidential candidate Bill Weld clarified, “Vicente Fox”. The video is below:

Again, the best defense one can use is to turn the question and ask, “who is your favorite foreign leader that you admire?” Most likely, they can’t name one. I honestly can’t name a living foreign leader I admire and Johnson responded recently by saying, “It’s been almost 24 hours…and I still can’t come up with a foreign leader I look up to”

I would love to hear Trump or Clinton’s response to this. Maybe they’d say Putin? I appeal to the fair mindedness of the readers and assume you are of above average intelligence, and I still think these questions would be difficult to answer.

Watch the interview and make your decision and remember: this slip-up is the worst the media has on Johnson – whereas Trump/Clinton have a lifetime of these “Aleppo Moments”

The 5 Threats of Islam

At the risk of becoming the next Kurt Westergaard, we must declare it and declare it loud that we need to be able to criticize bad ideas and, as Sam Harris put it, “Islam is the mother load of bad ideas. But the criticism of Islam is not only for arguments sake. When one fights Islam ideas, both radical and moderate, you fight for liberty, freedom of speech, and the freedom to simply be happy.

Say what you want about the out spoken, flatulent, controversial, and handsome Milo Yiannopolos, but he has landed in the spot light on the side of the free man in a way unique to most others. Milo creates a humorous and dubious argument against anyone intolerant of free speech – whether it be the new feminists, social justice warriors, Muslims, and anyone who crosses his path. Milo will simply not tolerate intolerance – as he puts it:

So it gives us a clear answer to the paradox of tolerance: no, you cannot tolerate the truly intolerant. If you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile, and rape everything inside it. And they won’t stop spreading.

He says this at the University of Central Florida earlier this evening. Despite the Twitter scandal, Milo will not shy away from what most people with a brain thinks: we need free speach in every corner of the world. To protect our happiness and to spread it abroad, the liberty to say whatever we want, without the threat of violence, is absolutely necessary. But no stronger plead for rational discourse than Milo’s speach at UCF – just miles away from the Pulse Nightclub. But, although Milo gives amazing reasons to criticize Islam, I think he has given us specific threats Islam posses on the world. And no one is immune. Please let Milo explain as I sum up his points into 5 threats of Islam:

1. The Threat to Women

Because I say things that offend feminists, the left considers me the number one threat to women today. But Muslims do far more than offend feminists, or offend women. They’re actually enslaving them, forcing them into marriages, slashing their genitals — which, unlike the male genitalia, aren’t improved by a little trim.

Muslims think they own women to such a degree, that they think women who wear shirts above their ankles in European countries are fair game to be raped. That’s real rape culture, right there — not the bogus one on college campuses.

So, as long as I’m speaking out against Islam with a louder and more forthright voice than any feminist in America today, I feel justified in considering myself far more feminist than them. Even if I do hate abortion.

2. The Threat to the World

Allah is said to be Compassionate and Merciful, but he does not, in the words of a medieval historian friend of mine, enter into his creation. He does not invite his creatures to be fellow creators. In fact he forbids it. He forbids much of what we in the west know is responsible for all the best art.

He forbids creativity in robust, dangerous, experimental ways. This, I think, rather than any petty sexual restriction, is what means there can be no accommodation made for Islam from gays whatsoever. We are society’s engines of chaos, pushing the limits of what can be thought and said, testing the boundaries of creativity and acceptability, sketching out social norms for the rest of you.

The Muslim commander who conquered Alexandria asked the Caliph Umar what to do with the immense library there. According to one anecdote, told by Muslims, the Caliph Umar replied: “If what is written in the books agrees with the Koran, they are not needed. If it disagrees, they are not wanted.” So the commander burned the library. Now this may be apocryphal but this story was originally told by Muslims and later repeated by famous Muslim writers.

3. The Threat to Rationality

Curtis Yarvin, a Jewish entrepreneur and blogger, says that nonsense is a better organizing tool than the truth. “Anyone can believe in the truth,” he writes. “To believe in nonsense is an unforgeable demonstration of loyalty. It serves as a political uniform.”

For many Muslims, the nonsense that is “Islamic science,” which holds that the earth is egg-shaped and that the stars are missiles created by Allah to throw at devils, is the only science they need. Or consider the ascendant art of “Islamic creationism,” a batty spin on creationist theories forged in Turkey but funded by Saudi Arabia. Scientific inquiry is virtually dead in the Islamic world. Arab nations stand near the bottom of every measure of human development. There is no world-class university anywhere in the Muslim world.

Spain translates more books in a single year than the entire Arab world has in the past thousand. Some people in Saudi Arabia still refuse to believe man has been to the moon. I know some of you tonight probably don’t believe we’ve been to the moon either, but this is America. You are allowed to go against accepted opinion without being beheaded for it.

4. The Threat of Civil Rights

We hear a lot about moderate Muslims, but in practice we don’t see them. All the moderate Muslims I know are ex-Muslims, or haven’t been to Friday prayers for months, or even years.

London has elected a Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, who is praised as a moderate But many have been left wondering just how moderate he is. Khan banned sexy advertisements from the underground  like the famous Protein World ads.  Was this move really to combat body shaming, like feminists wanted? Or was it to make the underground more shariah-compliant?

It is one of those instances where feminism and Islam are right in line on women’s rights. Sadiq Khan has met with a lot of shady and decidedly non-moderate Islamic types. He has associated with convicted terrorist Babar Ahmad, who is credited with inspiring the gang behind the 7/7 bombings.  For those of you that don’t know, that was London’s smaller scale 9/11.

This is a mayor who says terrorism is “Part & parcel of living in a big city” but it shouldn’t be, should it? England is one of the most illuminating examples of the lack of moderates. A Gallup poll of Muslims in the UK found that not a single one of the 1,001 people polled thought that homosexuality was morally acceptable.  Not a single one!  

The entire world loves Malala, the Nobel Prize winning champion of education for girls.  But look at her opinion, which passes in the media as moderate: “The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create.” So Malala’s opinion is if we all just shut up and did what Islam wants, which is to submit, they wouldn’t need to shoot us, stab us, or blow us up. Criticize us and we will kill you for your bad words. Great to know a Nobel prize winner has this sort of vision.

5. The Threat to Law

In 2015 the Center for Security Policy commissioned a poll of Muslims in America. It found that:

  • 30% of American Muslims believe it is legitimate to use violence against those that insult Islam
  • 25% of American Muslims said that violence against Americans can be justified as part of global jihad
  • 51% of American Muslims want to be allowed to be governed by Sharia Law

And here’s my personal favourite:

  • 33% said that sharia should take precedence over the constitution if they clashed

That’s a lot of bad Skittles in the United States. Over a million of them.

Something we can all agree on is that the First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech, is America’s most basic right. So it is very telling to understand the opinions of Muslims in America on this topic.

According to a Wenzel Strategies poll in 2012:

  • 58% of Muslim-Americans believe criticism of Islam or Muhammad is not protected free speech under the First Amendment
  • 45% believe that those who mock Islam should face criminal charges
  • 12% believe blaspheming against Islam should be punishable by death

You don’t only have to worry about the Muslims who commit acts of terror like shooting up a gay nightclub. You should also be worried about the Muslims who quietly endorse their acts. To say nothing of the ones who fund them.

It is a risk, indeed, to claim that someone’s ideas are bad – worse than bad – deadly. Without a doubt, Islam is the worst plague on modern man and it is spreading. The ridiculous notion that we need to simply bend over and accept bad ideas is pure brain rot. Where is the educated and secular Middle East from the early first millennium? It because Islam’s first victim.

Here is a link to Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech:
http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2016/09/27/10-things-milo-hates-islam/

What Happened at Wells Fargo?

When one begins their first dead-end job, they learn one thing: management is crazy. Whether it is retail, call centers, fast-food, or maintenance, management is always there breathing down your neck. It is a sign of maturity to ignore these sadistic managers – but they infect far more workplaces than we thought – and it could affect even the customer. At Wells Fargo, we see a great example of perverse management forcing their goals on their inferiors. Here is what actually happened at Wells Fargo.

Upper management at Wells Fargo forced employees to open up unauthorized bank accounts to meet their incredibly unrealistic sales goals. These unauthorized bank accounts were opened up without customer’s permission and has been a practice in the company since 2011. CEO John Stumpf has set the goal of 8 accounts per customer because, “8 rhythms with great”. You cannot make up a better management fraud story. Since then, over 2 million accounts have been opened for customers.

john-stumpf_413x185

But that isn’t even the worst part: Wells Fargo charged the customers with the fees associated with the accounts! That’s right! Not only did upper management tell their employees to commit fraud on a colossal scale, but they charged the customers as well. In response, Stumpf is being chewed out by both the House and the Senate. Wells Fargo has already taken action by firing over 5,300 of their employees. And no: the fired employees were not from management – they were the people opening unauthorized accounts. So the management who ordered the criminal move are not even taking responsibility.

The company thus far is paying $185 million in penalties. But the managers who ordered their employees – at the risk of losing their job – are safe. For now. The next congressional hearing is this Thursday. We can only hope those who encouraged this act and those who did not blow the whistle will receive their justice.

My Pick for 2016

I have had a strange urge to promote my pick for 2016 President but have thus far avoided posting because it is all I see. Posts – everywhere – about one of the presidential candidates. And although it really doesn’t matter who I choose in my state, I will finally get to it and write my reasons for my presidential candidate.

As I have expressed in my last post, although I have usually voted Republican in the presidential elections, I have seen failure after failure in the candidates chosen and an even bigger failure in social issues. “[Donald Trump] has gotten away with uncountable amounts of ridiculous brain rot – he has convinced normal rational people that he is the only answer”. I still love the Republican party’s fiscal responsibility – and I do love Trump’s character – but I cannot bring myself to vote for such an erratic and egotistical candidate. I have always voted for the lesser of two evils, but I can’t do this any longer.

Hillary Clinton on the other hand is so far from ideal, I bet Bill is having a difficult time voting for her. A completely corrupt and irresponsible liar – [Clinton’s] shameless ability to say and lie about anything to get her in office makes her a mystery candidate and, potentially, just as dangerous as Trump. Her record from 1970’s until now convinces me, and should convince everyone else that she is a total mystery. Yes, she reveals her plans for office, but it is clear that her plans are not based on her convictions, but rather based on which way the wind blows.

 

The candidate I am supporting needs to be one that is responsible, clear headed, and has a track record that proves his convictions. In a financial crisis that has been lingering since 2008, the candidate needs to be fiscally conservative – and they need the history to prove it. But, with race and political tension increasing everyday, the candidate needs to be socially liberal. Finances do not change – but people do. Which is why our president needs to keep our citizen’s liberty in the forefront of their policies.

We need a fiscal Conservative – and a Socially Liberal candidate.

That is why my pick for president is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Here is why:

  1. Fiscally Conservative

When Johnson took the office of Governor, New Mexico was in financial turmoil – just like every other state in America. But unlike every state, New Mexico had Johnson. When Governor, Johnson was so set on fixing the financial problem of the state, he vetoed any bill that either couldn’t pay for itself, or couldn’t be paid for. The number of bills vetoed is 739!

     2. Capitalist

Being a true Libertarian, Johnson is a hands-off capitalist. With Johnson, there would be no more unfair and irresponsible government bailouts, “I’m against any type of federal stimulus”. This way, the economy is free to do what it does best: make money! In every instance around the world and throughout history: the freer the market, the freer the people.

     3. Cutting the budget

Only a truly incompetent voter would suggest that we do not need to cut the budget. Our overwhelming deficit is crippling what little recovery occurs. Johnson, himself, says it best when he first ran for office in 2012 as a Republican, “I have proposed cutting the federal budget by 43 percent to bring it into balance. It can be done. It requires the will and ability to ignore and even fight the special interests that have a vested interest in more and more government spending. Our system is corrupted by special-interest campaign contributions. Crony capitalism permeates our government. The result is that, as the Congressional Budget Office reported this week, the deficit for 2012 will once again exceed $1 trillion”

     4. Socially Liberal

Republicans have suffered inconceivable losses in popularity lately by sticking to out-dated, illogical, and biased beliefs – this is not what the Republican party was founded on. If they continue to turn away from the social issues, they turn away from liberty. The issues such as gay marriage, LGBT issues as a whole, religious issues, and views on foreigners take away personal liberties – there is no way around it. If Republicans continue to try and take away choices of individuals, they will cease claims to the idea that they are a party of liberty.

Gary Johnson has shown a deep conviction for personal rights. The idea that the government has no say in our personal decisions is America’s most deeply held ideal (or so it used to be). It is time for Americans to realize that personal liberties are personal. If someone thinks they are born with the wrong gender, who am I to try to correct and control that? No matter how odd it may seem.

     5. Common Sense Civil Rights

Like the above, Johnson shows a comprehensive understanding for thoughtful civil right actions. Every opinion is no polarized by party lines, but rather by logical thought. On one hand Johnson believes, “Individual liberty includes supporting gay marriage” and on the other hand, “Each state has right to display the Confederate flag.” He also believes, “No affirmative action in college admissions nor state jobs” but also supports, “Supports separation of religion and state”

On any issue, Gary Johnson shows a clear understanding for personal liberty and also a Constitution responsibility within our government – both are traits that have been absent from the oval office. The political grid lock, social unrest, and irresponsible government spending is an exact outcome from years of a two-party system merely voting on party lines. If we could just return to a responsible, citizen focused, constitutional nation, then recovery would be all too easy.

Do I think that Gary Johnson will win? It is highly unlikely. But I absolutely cannot vote for either the Republican or Democratic candidate. Johnson, unfortunately, will not be on the first debate stage on Monday, but there is hope! He is not at the 15% mark to land the debate, but if Johnson can capture only 5% of the vote in November, then the Libertarian party could actually receive federal campaign funding – just like the Republican and Democratic party. Either way, I hope my vote can send a message that the two parties are not entitled to our vote.

Whoever you end up voting for – don’t settle for the lesser of two evils.

You Get What You Vote For

No one can ignore it. The painful cringe on everyone’s faces as they grudgingly support with Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. On one hand, we have a flamboyant tough guy who’s ego wouldn’t fit in an Olympic stadium – and on the other hand, we have a corrupt crippled robot who would, and has, said anything to get into office. The two party system has been rotting away and has finally failed completely giving us a buffoon and a robot. But these deplorable candidates have not earned our vote – they are not entitled to our vote. Decades of voting for the “lesser-of-two-evils” has produced failures as candidates and  failures as presidents. It is time for something different.

Donald Trump

What can be said about Donald Trump? He has gotten away with uncountable amounts of ridiculous brain rot – he has convinced normal rational people that he is the only answer. If anyone else spouted the amount of garbage he has, they would lose their minds! Trump’s character alone has produced unimaginable amounts of craziness – including insulting captured soldiers, immigrants, and foreign countries. I do, however, see his appeal. The incredible level of “PC” we see on a daily basis has crippled free speech in the name of feelings. The grid lock and politically corrupt system begs for a bold and frank business man to straighten D.C. out. But a buffoon such as Trump would completely embarrass our country and ruin our government further.

Hillary Clinton

One does not need to look far to find something rotten in her resume. I think the most telling flaw about her is her incredible lies. Who can forget her bold faced lie about her husbands affair in 1992, her lie about her support for the Iraq war in 2008, the lie about coming under sniper fire in Yugoslavia to name a few. But the more recent lies like her crippling health, confidential email scandal, the Benghazi attacks, and the coordinated DNC attack against Bernie Sanders really tells of Clinton’s horrendous personality. It is completely safe to say, she cannot be trusted in or out of public office. If Clinton were to be in office, voters will see more gridlock, more lies, and more conspiracies. Again, I can see why people would vote for her. Clinton is defiantly the lesser-of-two-evils and absolutely less threatening than Trump – but her shameless ability to say and lie about anything to get her in office makes her a mystery candidate and, potentially, just as dangerous as Trump.

 

So what? Why am I writing a cliche post about how bad our candidates are? Well, I feel the compelling need to make at least one post before the first presidential debate. And to the benefit of the reader, I will assume this is all information that you already know. everyone is dreading election day – no matter what you thought of Obama, there is a passing feeling of mourning when imagining seeing Trump or Clinton in his place. No matter who wins, the country will survive, but it is time to vote your conscience and let your voice be heard. In my next post I will write my opinions about my choice candidate (so far). Stay tuned and stay informed!

Let’s Talk Tax: Clinton vs Trump’s Plans

Lets talk about everyone’s favorite topic: Taxation! With the 2016 election coming fast, let me explain what Clinton and Trump’s tax plans are and what it means for you.

As you can imagine, the two presidential plans are complete opposites – staying loyal to party lines. Trump’s plan focuses on tax cuts in the form of lowering tax rates whereas Clinton takes her plan right out of Bernie Sander’s book by vowing to raise taxes substantially on the super wealthy.

Trump’s Plan

“I am proposing an across-the-board income tax reduction especially for middle-income Americans. This will lead to millions of new and really good-paying jobs. The rich will pay their fair share, but no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs or undermines our ability as a nation to compete.”

Donald Trump plans to create only three tax brackets to appeal to the middle class. The Top rate will be 33% (down from 39.6%); the next rate will be 25%; the last will be 12% (most Americans) and anyone earning under $29,000 will pay 0% tax rate. That’s right, the bottom earners will pay nothing! A surprising fact to most Trump haters. In fact, NPR recently posted a bias page saying, “much of the savings going to the wealthiest households”. Both candidates are jokes, don’t get me wrong – but it has turned into a game of “what can we get away with?”

Clinton’s Plan

Because she can’t steal anymore ideas from Bernie, Clinton has not yet expressed how she will help the middle class. But the jist of her plan is to tax the super wealthy as a way to fund subsidized college tuition and other programs. A good idea, but we defiantly need more details – but details are not her strong suit.

Clinton hopes to implement what Obama could not (she is taking other’s ideas again): the Buffet rule which would create a new tax bracket of 43.6% for taxpayers making over $5 million. The next would be 39.6%; 35%l and 33%. The middle class rates would be 28% for earnings over $91,150, 25% for earnings over $37,650, and 15% for earnings over $9275. Clinton also plans for a 0% rate for taxpayers earning $9,275. Another part of her plan I remember quite distinctly is an Exit Tax which aims to punish corporations that leave the U.S. This would be her way of justifying her high tax rates.

What does it all mean?

The big picture for Trumps plan is lower taxes for everyone. It focuses on promoting a healthier business environment to encourage hiring. Clinton’s plan is increasing taxes progressively to increase revenue and fund programs. The two plans are as difficult to compare as the candidates themselves – it is Trickle-down economics vs government programs.

The good part about Clinton’s plan is that it would add about $1.1 trillion in revenue over 10 years. The bad is that we still don’t know her whole plan and I find it difficult to trust that the added revenue would actually make it to the deficit. The good part about Trump’s plan is that taxes are cut across the board putting money in the pockets of Americans. But it would reduce the amount of taxes collected by $4.4 Trillion. But it is important to remember that taxes are not the only way to lower the deficit – Trump plans to cut spending and renegotiate trade deals (which is as unclear as Clinton’s government programs).

In both cases, there is still some uncertainty; but to sum it up: Trump will lower taxes – Clinton will raise them. It seems that Clinton’s plan will not effect the average American’s tax return directly – but we risk her spending to negate the revenue she will generate. In the end, it seems that Trump’s plan will most benefit the average American if he can cut spending. But stay tuned the the debate coming up on the 26th to see what they really have in store.