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#1 Trump to Recognize Jerusalem
President Trump on Wednesday plans to upend decades of U.S. policy by formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordering the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to that city, senior aides said, a decision that could derail the White House’s peace efforts and spark regional unrest. Trump will make his pronouncement in a midday speech after months of deliberation within his administration and consultations with governments in the Middle East. But in a sign of the complexities of such a shift, White House aides emphasized that Trump will sign another six-month waiver maintaining the embassy’s current location in Tel Aviv because the process of moving it will take at least three or four years.
7 Reasons Trump is right…Trump’s move would be a powerful one, a legal one, and a wise one. Here are seven reasons why. 1. Jerusalem Is The Eternal Capital Of Israel. Jerusalem is only important because the Jews made it important; it was the capital of the kingdom of Israel, the site of the Temple, and the wellspring of Judaic thought for millennia. Both Christianity and Islam value Jerusalem because Judaism did. The dream of Jerusalem has animated the Jewish people for its entire existence; there is a reason the Psalms (137:5) state…READ MORE
Why it has taken so long…America’s policy of maintaining its embassy in Tel Aviv was born not of security concerns, but of legal deference to the U.N. General Assembly’s Resolution 181, a 1947 proposal that would have made Jerusalem into an international city governed by a “Special International Regime,” while partitioning the rest of Mandatory Palestine into Arab and Jewish sections. That proposal never took effect. The U.N. General Assembly has no power beyond its own budget-making authority, and the proposal was rejected by the Arab states from the beginning. Upon its declaration of independence, five different Arab countries declared war on Israel with the explicit goal of ending the nascent Jewish state in its cradle, partition be damned. For all of these reasons, as Professor Kontorovich explains, “the proposed treatment of Jerusalem by Res. 181 should have been absolutely irrelevant in 1948, and it is nothing but a historical footnote today.” READ MORE
#2 Welfare & Entitlement Reform
Such proposals have been floated in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way” plan, which included a broader call to review the ways in which welfare programs interact, as well as bills from lawmakers such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), who also has proposed tallying spending on all welfare programs. A spokesman for Mr. Ryan said the goals for 2018 would be set at a conference retreat in January. But Mr. Jordan, a head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who often has the ear of the president, has argued in recent weeks that the issue is one of the most winning ones with Mr. Trump’s voters and should take center stage next year.
The entitlement disaster…That does not mean that taxes alone can close the entitlement deficits. That $4 trillion “rest of the budget” surplus that the Washington establishment is protecting from tax cuts would cover just 5 percent of the Social Security and Medicare shortfall. And then what? Even doubling marginal tax rates at incomes beginning at $100,000 for singles and $200,000 for married filers — creating a 79.2 percent income-tax bracket even before state and payroll taxes are factored in — would close just $16 trillion of the remaining $78 trillion gap. And that assumes the economy still functions at such high tax rates. (The Eisenhower economy survived a 91 percent tax bracket because only eight taxpayers paid it in a given year, according to one estimate.) So while taxes cannot close the entire entitlement deficit, delaying the eventual reforms only expands their cost until significant tax hikes become inevitable…READ MORE