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by Walter E. Williams

    Rush Limbaugh's December 2018 Limbaugh Letter has an article titled "Demonizing White Men." It highlights -- with actual quotations from people in the media, academia and the political and entertainment arenas -- the attack on white men as a class. You can decide whether these statements are decent, moral or even sensible. Should we support their visions?
    Don Lemon, a CNN anchorman, said, "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." Steven Clifford, former King Broadcasting CEO, said, "I will be leading a great movement to prohibit straight white males, who I believe supported Donald Trump by about 85 percent, from exercising the franchise (to vote), and I think that will save our democracy." Teen Vogue, a magazine targeting teenage girls, wrote, "Not only is white male terrorism as dangerous as Islamic extremism, but our collective safety rests in rooting out the source of their radicalization." Economist Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist, wrote a column titled "The Angry White Male Caucus," in which he explained, "Trumpism is all about the fear of losing traditional privilege."
    There have been similar despicable statements made by academics. James Livingston, a Rutgers history professor: "OK, officially, I now hate white people. ... I hereby resign from my race. F--- these people." Stacey Patton, a Morgan State University professor: "There is nothing more dangerous in the United States than a white man who has expected to succeed and finds himself falling behind." Stony Brook University sociology professor Michael Kimmel explained, "White men's anger comes from the potent fusion of two sentiments: entitlement and a sense of victimization."
    Then there's the political arena. Sen. Bernie Sanders: "There's no question that in Georgia and in Florida racism has reared its ugly head. And you have candidates who ran against (Andrew) Gillum and ran against Stacey Abrams who were racist. ... And that is an outrage." Michael Avenatti, criticizing the GOP senators during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings: "These old white men still don't understand that assault victims and women deserve respect and to be heard." "What troubles me is ... they're all white men," commented former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm regarding GOP senators questioning Christine Blasey Ford at the Kavanaugh hearings. William Falk, editor-in-chief of The Week, said, "There's something odd about the overwhelming white maleness of Washington's current leadership."
    Not to be outdone, entertainers have hopped on the demonizing-white-men bandwagon. Joy Behar, talking on ABC's "The View" about senators supporting Kavanaugh, said: "These white men -- old, by the way -- are not protecting women. They're protecting a man who is probably guilty." Actress Gabourey Sidibe, also on "The View," said: "Older white men are a problem, y'all, for everyone. We're all at risk." Moira Donegan wrote an article for The Guardian titled "Half of white women continue to vote Republican. What's wrong with them?" Renee Graham wrote a column in The Boston Globe that counseled, "Memo to black men: Stop voting Republican." Comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted, "Just a friendly reminder for the weekend: No white after Labor Day, and no old, white racist men after the midterms. Get out and vote."
    That is just a partial list of statements that would be viewed and condemned as racist simply by replacing "white men" with "black men," "Mexican men" or "Asian men." You can bet the rent money that university presidents and media executives would sanction any of their employees for making similar broad, sweeping statements about nonwhite men. Suppose a white anchorman said, "Black people are the greatest murder threat in this country." I guarantee you that he'd be shown the door.
    There are only two ways to explain the silence by people who should know better. Either they agree with the sentiments expressed or they are out-and-out cowards. Decent American people ought to soundly reject and condemn this brazen attack on white men. I think that the attack is on masculinity itself and that white men are a convenient scapegoat -- for now.
    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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by John Stossel

    Sunday is the Super Bowl.
    I look forward to playing poker and watching. It's easy to do both because in a three-hour-plus NFL game there are just 11 minutes of actual football action.
    So we'll have plenty of time to watch Atlanta politicians take credit for the stadium that will host the game. Atlanta's former mayor calls it "simply the best facility in the world."
    But politicians aren't likely to talk about what I explain in my latest video -- how taxpayers were forced to donate more than $700 million to the owner of Atlanta's football team, billionaire Arthur Blank, to get him to build the stadium.
    In addition to the subsidies, the Falcons get all the money from parking, restaurants and merchandise sales. Sweet deal.
    But not an unusual one. Some NFL teams collect even more in government subsidies than it cost to build their stadiums.
    So taxpayers, most of whom never attend a game, subsidize billionaires.
    Seems like a scam.
    I don't fault Blank for grabbing the money. I like the guy. He made our lives better by founding Home Depot. We're both stutterers who donate money to AIS, a stuttering treatment program.
    Since politicians give money away, Blank's shareholders would consider him irresponsible not to take it.
    The problem is that politicians give away your money in the first place.
    I understand why they do it.
    They like going to games and telling voters, "I brought the team to our town!"
    Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her cronies recently funneled $750 million of taxpayer money to the owners of the Oakland Raiders to get them to move the team to Vegas.
    Reporter Jon Ralston asked her, "Why should there be one cent of public money when you have two guys who could pay for this themselves?"
    The mayor replied lamely, "I think it really is a benefit to us that really could spill over into something."
    Spill over into ... something. Politicians always claim giving taxpayer money to team owners will "spill over" to the whole community.
    They call their handouts investments -- a "terrific investment," as the mayor of Atlanta put it.
    But it's not a good investment. It's a bad one.
    Politicians point to that extra business activity that occurs when the football team plays at home, but the Atlanta Falcons, like most NFL teams, play just 10 home games. The stadium is used for some concerts and soccer games, but most days little or nothing happens there.
    That's why economists who study stadium subsidies call them a bad deal for taxpayers.
    The problem is the seen vs. the unseen, as economist Frederic Bastiat put it. All of us see the people at the games buying beer and hotdogs.
    But we don't see the larger number of citizens, who had their money taken from them to spend on the stadium, not buying things.
    We don't see two fewer customers in a restaurant or the home remodeling that never got done. Those humbler projects lack the political clout and don't get the media attention that politicians and the stadium-builders get.
    So this Sunday, when Atlanta politicians brag about their beautiful stadium, and clueless media claim that it created lots of jobs, let's also remember the jobs the subsidies destroyed -- and the tax money that was given to rich people.
    The problem isn't just Atlanta, and it isn't just sports.
    Most every time government presumes to tell us where and how our money should be spent rather than leaving it up to free individuals, it creates a loss.
    Politicians announce whatever project they fund with great fanfare, implying you should be thankful to them -- as if football, or the arts, or whatever is unveiled in the latest ribbon-cutting ceremony, couldn't exist without politicians moving money from your pocket to the pockets of their cronies.
    But really, government shrinks your ability to make choices every time it steers money away from what you might choose to spend it on.
    Football is popular enough to thrive without politicians subsidizing it.
    John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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by Walter E. Williams

    In 1976, Gerald Ford won 15 percent of the black vote. That's the most of any recent Republican presidential candidate. In most elections, blacks give Democrats over 90 percent of their votes. It's not unreasonable to ask what have blacks gained from such unquestioning loyalty to the Democratic Party. After all, the absolute worst public safety conditions and other urban amenities for blacks are in cities that have been controlled by Democrats for decades. Let's look at it.
    What cities are the deadliest for blacks? The Trace, an independent nonprofit news organization, answers that question. Using 2017 data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program, The Trace (http://tinyurl.com/y9bvwlh2) listed the 20 major U.S. cities with the highest homicide rates -- factoring in both the number of people murdered in cities and their populations. Chicago, with 589 murders in 2018 -- one murder every 15 hours -- is often called the nation's murder capital. But that's dead wrong.
    In 2017, St. Louis had the nation's highest murder rate, at 66.1 homicides per 100,000 residents. Baltimore came in second, with 55.8 murders per 100,000 people. Detroit was third, with 39.8 murders per 100,000 people. Other cities with high murder rates included New Orleans; Kansas City, Missouri; Cleveland; Memphis, Tennessee; and Newark, New Jersey. With 24.1 murders per 100,000 residents, Chicago ranked ninth in the nation. It was followed by Cincinnati and Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., was 17th.
    Now here's the kicker. Of the 20 most dangerous major cities, all but one had a Democratic mayor. In many of these cities, the Democratic Party has ruled for a half-century or more. Only Tulsa, Oklahoma, with 17.3 murders per 100,000 residents, had a Republican mayor.
    Who knows what conclusion can be drawn from the finding that the most murderous cities have been controlled by Democrats -- and often black Democrats? I am not suggesting that Democratic control causes murder and mayhem. What I am saying is that murder, mayhem and other violent crime are not reduced by the election of black or white Democrats to run our cities. That means one cannot dismiss out of hand a question then-candidate Donald Trump asked black Americans in a 2016 campaign speech in Michigan: "What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? ... What the hell do you have to lose?"
    Violent crime is not the only problem for blacks in our major cities. Because of high crime, poor schools and a less pleasant environment, cities are losing their economic base and their most productive people in droves. When World War II ended, Washington, D.C.'s population was about 900,000; today it's about 694,000. In 1950, Baltimore's population was almost 950,000; today it's around 612,000. Detroit's 1950 population was close to 1.85 million; today it's down to 673,000. Camden, New Jersey's 1950 population was nearly 125,000; today it has fallen to 75,000. St. Louis' 1950 population was more than 856,000; today it's less than 309,000. A similar story of population decline can be found in most of our formerly large and prosperous cities. In some cities, the population decline since 1950 is well over 50 percent. In addition to Detroit and St. Louis, those would include Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
    During the 1960s and '70s, academic liberals, civil rights advocates and others blamed the exodus on racism -- "white flight" to the suburbs to avoid blacks. However, since the '70s, blacks have been fleeing some cities at higher rates than whites. The five cities whose suburbs have the fastest-growing black populations are Miami, Dallas, Washington, Houston and Atlanta (http://tinyurl.com/y8avphy5). It turns out -- and reasonably so -- that blacks, like whites, want better and safer schools for their kids and don't like to be mugged or have their property vandalized. And just like the case with white people, if they have the means, black people can't wait to leave troubled cities.
    Bobby Hesley -- a Catholic speaker, writer and conservative political commentator -- writes, "Black people are finally starting to wake up and unplug themselves from the Liberal Matrix that has ruled their reality for over a half a century." I say good! It's unwise to be a one-party people in a two-party system.
    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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by John Stossel

        It's School Choice Week.
        School choice is a noble cause. In much of America, parents have little or no control over where their kids attend school. Local governments assign schools by ZIP code.
        Having choice is better. Whether it's vouchers, scholarships, charters, private schools or just having options among public schools, choice makes some schools better because educators have to compete for parents' trust. Competition makes most everything better.
        So we need competition among ideas, too.
        There isn't a lot of that in America's schools.
        In many places, every kid is taught:
        --America is largely cruel and unfair, especially to minorities.
        --Political leaders must manage most of life.
        --Under capitalism, rich people prosper by exploiting the poor.
        To give students another perspective, I started a charity that offers teachers free study guides, sample lessons and videos that introduce students to free market ideas: Stossel in the Classroom.
        Most of the videos are versions of my reporting for Stossel TV, Fox and ABC News, specially edited for students.
        In these videos, kids hear from people in parts of the world where markets are not as free and people suffer because of it. After watching, one high school student told us that he now understood that America is "the rare place where you can write the script of your own life."
        That idea is important to kids, who don't always feel that they're in control of their lives.
        One student, Gabriel Miller, told us, "When I originally went to school, it was all taught from one side: This country is horrible; because you are a minority you can't make it. It made me dislike the country. But after the videos were shown, I felt ashamed for what I initially believed."
        He then enlisted in the National Guard. "I wanted to give back for, not only giving my family so much opportunity, but also to protect, defend and serve the people in the United States."
        "We never really thought like this before," his classmate Diony Perez told us. "We're taught that the government is... responsible for us and we have to trust them in doing everything for us."
        After watching videos about entrepreneurs, Perez decided he didn't want government to take charge of his life. Instead, he started his own business. His company delivers cars to customers without them having to step foot in a dealership.
        Students say certain ideas in the videos stand out because they are different from the anti-market messages they usually hear in school.
        One that stuck with many was "unintended consequences" -- the idea that laws meant to protect people often end up harming them instead.
        A higher minimum wage, for example. Most Americans support that idea, and it does raise some workers' pay. But a minimum also prices young and marginal workers out of jobs by making it illegal for them to get starter experience at lower pay.
        Every law, every regulation is announced with the loftiest of intentions -- making the poor richer, protecting the environment, guaranteeing food safety -- but again and again, the laws not only fail to achieve their stated objectives but also make things worse by limiting choices and making it harder for businesses and customers to find mutually satisfying solutions.
        Few students understand that. In fact, these days most are more pro-government, even socialist, than their millennial, generation X and boomer predecessors.
        Watching these videos in class will help many students open their minds.
        One student told us the video series "contradicts all these beliefs about how socialism is great."
        I would hope so. Socialism is definitelynot great.
        Fortunately, about 10 million students will watch these videos in class this year. Some will change their minds.
        "I went to my mom. I was like, 'Do you know who's really paying for all this government stuff?'" said Diony.
        If you know teachers who might want to use the videos in their classrooms, please tell them about SITC.org. All our resources are free.
        School Choice Week isn't just about letting kids and parents choose where they go to school. It also means being able to choose what ideas they learn -- including the concept of choice itself.
        John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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Hey Taylor - After another year of scrambling to pay taxes and wondering if I could have paid less, I’ve started looking at estimated taxes. Do you know, generally speaking, if this is a beneficial option for people who are self-employed? - Kelly

Hey Kelly - Depending on your situation, paying estimated taxes leading up to the filing year can be really helpful. The only real downside is that some people think paying in advance offers some kind of loophole, which isn’t the way it works. If tax season gets you down, here are three ways estimated tax payments could lower your stress.

     1. Pay in smaller allotments. We all like paying less whenever possible, and while you won’t reduce your overall tax bill, breaking $20,000 into four payments of $5,000 can feel a lot more manageable. Most people who need to pay quarterly work for themselves and self-employment often has busy and slow seasons. If you break what you owe into installments, you get to choose when and how much you pay. This lets you get a little more predictive and, as long as you calculate responsibly, make larger payments when you have more cash flow available.

     2. Stay organized. I remember my first few years of paying taxes as an adult and trying to go through a year’s worth of business earnings by memory. A lot of stuff happens each year, and it’s no small task to keep track of all of it. The workload shrinks a little when you organize once every three months instead of once annually. If your receipt management isn’t the best, you’ll stand a better chance of finding information that’s two months old as opposed to 10 months old. The actual filing process doesn’t get easier from an IRS standpoint, but your personal filing process should be a little less daunting when you break it into three-month sections.

     3. Work taxes into your budget. Hopefully you already have a business budget, so adding a section for quarterly tax payments shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. It might make your earnings look smaller on paper, but you can feel confident knowing you won’t have to start the year indebted to the government. You might even get a bit of a return if you overpaid or had unexpected expenses. It’s pretty easy to add this to your budget - just take last year’s return, divide by four and plug that amount in for April, July, October and January (or whichever months make the most sense for your situation).

Paying estimated taxes doesn’t change what you owe, it just changes your personal management. If you feel like staggered payments will help you stay organized, I think it’s absolutely worth the effort. Hope it works for you, Kelly!

Taylor J Kovar, CEO
Kovar Capital