Wall Street Journal, Republicans attacked for thwarting U.S. ABM defense
Angelo Codevilla has just denounced the Republican political establishment for sabotaging U.S. development of ABM technologies capable of defending against Russian and Chinese ICBMs. President Trump’s initial budget reduced fiscal 2017 missile defense spending by 4%, but after North Korean threats, Trump declared “I don’t want that”.
China has made a major investment in expanding science and engineering graduates. The U.S. still scores well in two independent rankings of universities worldwide (Times of London and QS) but has been declining relatively. Although Japan does well in Asia-only rankings, it is concerned that it must look to Hong Kong for rigorous accountability in higher education.
Tax reform and the economy
Although a just released Census Bureau data has some good economic news, further improvements will be dependent on tax reform. Yesterday Treasury Secretary Mnuchin deep-sixed one Trump promise –tax simplification — by calling for different rates on individual, corporate, and pass-through incomes. In a speech to the Delivering Alpha investor group in New York, an investor group, Mnuchin also said he was not opposed to tax retroactivity to January 1st. This would put extra money in people’s pockets but do nothing to change investment incentives going forward, which is what tax reform, as opposed to tax cuts is all about.
Self-driving cars, Silicon Valley, and censorship
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao just gave a boost to U.S. development of self-driving cars by reducing D.O.T. barriers to the testing of vehicles on the road and by making it clear that “the federal government — not states — would determine whether the vehicles were safe,”
Silicon Valley companies such as Google and Tesla have so far been the key drivers of the new technology. But both Republicans and Democrats are coalescing in opposition to Silicon Valley’s censorship. There’s even growing bipartisan talk of regulation.