The Trump Executive Order and the Section 230 Option To “Strongly Regulate” Social Media

President Donald Trump’s executive order on social media is framed around the effort to remove protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. For those of us who teach torts, Section 230 has been a long controversy in its shielding of companies from liability in defamation and other lawsuits. As I write today in my Hill column, Twitter is dangerously wrong in its action against the Trump tweets and Trump is right that this represents a serious attack on free speech. However, I was also critical of the threat to “shut down” or “strongly regulate” media companies. Putting the retaliatory language aside, this is not a change that will likely succeed without congressional action. However, there are some legitimate questions that Congress should consider while, in my view, erring on the side of protecting free speech.

President Trump is directing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to propose and clarify regulations under Section 230. Specifically, section 230 protects social media platforms from liability over what users post or share. 

Section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 provides: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” The statute defines “information content provider” as “any person or entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of information provided through the Internet or any other interactive computer service.” 47 U.S.C. § 230(e)(3).

This has long been a controversial element under the FCA because it was largely the result of judicial not congressional construction. We discussed this issue in relation to the Sixth Circuit’s arguments in Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment. A gossip blog, The Dirty, appealed the decision of U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman that the site is liable of defamatory statements by third parties and cannot claim immunity under the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230. The site was sued by Sarah Jones, an ex-Bengals cheerleader and a former high school teacher in northern Kentucky, who was libeled on the site by commentators.

The jury hung in the first trial of this case, which necessitated a second trial. The second jury returned a verdict for $38,000.00 compensatory damages and $300,000.00 punitive damages.

Bertelsman rejected the argument that it barred recovery in the case. The district court drew a distinction between third party postings or comments that appear without solicitation or encouragement and this type of site that actively seeks such comments. The court noted a number of decisions limiting CDA immunity including a decision by Judge Easterbrook of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, who wrote in Chicago Lawyers’ Comm. For Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. v. Craigslist, Inc., 519 F.3d 666, 670 (7th Cir. 2008), that the CDA does not provide “a grant of comprehensive immunity from civil liability for content provided by a third party.” Easterbrook ruled that Craigslist was entitled to protection but noted that “[n]othing in the service craigslist offers induces anyone to post any particular listing or express a preference for discrimination.” Id. at 671-72.

The district court held that

“Although Courts have stated generally that CDA immunity is broad, the weight of the authority teaches that such immunity may be lost. That is, a website owner who intentionally encourages illegal or actionable third-party postings to which he adds his own comments ratifying or adopting the posts becomes a “creator” or “developer” of that content and is not entitled to immunity.”

That analysis may appeal to the Trump Administration. However, the Sixth Circuit vacated the district court’s decision with instructions to enter judgment for Dirty World. The Sixth Circuit held that the district court erroneously applied an “adoption or ratification test” on determining if immunity existed. It instead favored the material contribution test from Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v., LLC. Yet, that case contained language that should worry Twitter.

Then Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for the en banc court that was not immune under Section 230(c) because the website qualified as an information content provider: “Roommate created the questions and choice of answers, and designed its website registration process around them. Therefore, Roommate is undoubtedly the ‘information content provider’ as to the questions and can claim no immunity for posting them on its website, or for forcing subscribers to answer them as a condition of using its services.” The court found that “Roommate becomes much more than a passive transmitter of information provided by others; it becomes the developer, at least in part, of the information. And section 230 provides immunity only if the interactive computer series does not ‘creat[e] or develop[]’ the information ‘in whole or in part.’”

We have previously discussed the opinion in Zeran v. America Online, Inc., 129 F.3d 327, 330-31 (4th Cir. 1997) where Chief Judge Wilkinson wrote for the Fourth Circuit:

By its plain language, § 230 creates a federal immunity to any cause of action that would make service providers liable for information originating with a third-party user of the service. Specifically, § 230 precludes courts from entertaining claims that would place a computer service provider in a publisher’s role. Thus, lawsuits seeking to hold a service provider liable for its exercise of a publisher’s traditional editorial functions — such as deciding whether to publish, withdraw, postpone or alter content — are barred.

The purpose of this statutory immunity is not difficult to discern. Congress recognized the threat that tort-based lawsuits pose to freedom of speech in the new and burgeoning Internet medium. The imposition of tort liability on service providers for the communications of others represented, for Congress, simply another form of intrusive government regulation of speech. Section 230 was enacted, in part, to maintain the robust nature of Internet communication and, accordingly, to keep government interference in the medium to a minimum.

* * *

None of this means, of course, that the original culpable party who posts defamatory messages would escape accountability. While Congress acted to keep government regulation of the Internet to a minimum, it also found it to be the policy of the United States “to ensure vigorous enforcement of Federal criminal laws to deter and punish trafficking in obscenity, stalking, and harassment by means of computer.” Id. § 230(b)(5). Congress made a policy choice, however, not to deter harmful online speech through the separate route of imposing tort liability on companies that serve as intermediaries for other parties’ potentially injurious messages.

Past CDA decision have been sweeping in the extent of the immunity, even from reluctant judges as in Blumenthal v. Drudge, 992 F. Supp. 44 (D.D.C. 1998). In that case, the Drudge Report was sued by Sidney Blumenthal and Jacqueline Jordan Blumenthal who are citizens of the District of Columbia and have continuously lived in the District since 1985. Complaint PP 1-2, 12. Sidney Blumenthal worked in the White House as an Assistant to the President of the United States and the defamatory materials was published the day before he began work at the White House on August 11, 1997. The article was entitled “Charge: New White House Recruit Sidney Blumenthal Has Spousal Abuse Past.” It was untrue and, after receiving a letter from their counsel, Drudge retracted the story through a special edition of the Drudge Report on his web site and e-mailed to his subscribers. Drudge also e-mailed the retraction to AOL which posted it on the AOL service. He also later publicly apologized to the Blumenthals. AOL however was protected even though the site actively monitors postings and reserves the right to remove postings. Judge Freidman wrote:

If it were writing on a clean slate, this Court would agree with plaintiffs. AOL has certain editorial rights with respect to the content provided by Drudge and disseminated by AOL, including the right to require changes in content and to remove it; and it has affirmatively promoted Drudge as a new source of unverified instant gossip on AOL. Yet it takes no responsibility for any damage he may cause. AOL is not a passive conduit like the telephone company, a common carrier with no control and therefore no responsibility for what is said over the telephone wires. 11 Because it has the right to exercise editorial control over those with whom it contracts and whose words it disseminates, it would seem only fair to hold AOL to the liability standards applied to a publisher or, at least, like a book store owner or library, to the liability standards applied to a distributor. 12 But Congress has made a different policy choice by providing immunity even where the interactive service provider has an active, even aggressive role in making available content prepared by others. In some sort of tacit quid pro quo arrangement with the service provider community, Congress has conferred immunity from tort liability as an incentive to Internet service providers to self-police the Internet for obscenity and other offensive material, even where the self-policing is unsuccessful or not even attempted.

There are therefore long-standing and legitimate objections to Section 230 where sites like Twitter demand immunity as a passive provider but then assumed an active role in the discussion.  However, the priority should be the protection of the Internet and social media as a forum for free speech. If Twitter could refrain from such interventions, it serves an important function as a platform for free ideas and exchange.  The problem is that Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden have called for the elimination of Section 230 in its entirety — an extreme action that could fundamentally change public discourse in this country.

That is why my column strongly encourages Twitter to admit its error and return to neutrality. Instead, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has doubled down on an indefensible and dangerous decision on the Trump tweets. The result could be an assault not just on social media but free speech.

133 thoughts on “The Trump Executive Order and the Section 230 Option To “Strongly Regulate” Social Media”

  1. The obvious reason far left leaning twitter stepped in on the mail in ballots controversy is they had a giant lie to tell, to help get the democrats elected, and to hopefully defeat Trump, their ultimate object of hatred for their entire lives.

    Thus we know, one of the big problems is, just when they want to apply fact checking, the glaringly obvious personal and ragingly important motive is to fact check the truth and turn it into a lie so their future criminal plans can come to fruition.

    We’ve got the same thing with hydroxycloroquine, currently. I’ve seen dozens of doctors testify it works wonderfully on covid19 patients – they have had astounding even to them success, and it’s getting bad because “the fact checkers” tried to lock down access to the script – a certain pharmacy changed it 20 year long plus policy and demanded HIPPA information from the doctor to fill a script – … (hating Trump and fiscal profit is behind the lie that is a claimed fact check in this case) – and this one is causing deaths

    So we just can’t have this sort of asinine appeal to the corrupt that is called fact checking.

  2. Although I don’t expect the sneering know-nothing who gather here to circle-jerk to appreciate or even understand the meaning and significance of this piece by Brooks, those of us who love our country can look forward to an America with a real leader come November. From today’s Paper of Record:

    If We Had a Real Leader
    Imagining Covid under a normal president.
    By David Brooks
    Opinion Columnist
    May 28, 2020, 6:30 p.m. ET
    This week I had a conversation that left a mark. It was with Mary Louise Kelly and E.J. Dionne on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and it was about how past presidents had handled moments of national mourning — Lincoln after Gettysburg, Reagan after the Challenger explosion and Obama after the Sandy Hook school shootings.
    The conversation left me wondering what America’s experience of the pandemic would be like if we had a real leader in the White House.
    If we had a real leader, he would have realized that tragedies like 100,000 Covid-19 deaths touch something deeper than politics: They touch our shared vulnerability and our profound and natural sympathy for one another.
    In such moments, a real leader steps outside of his political role and reveals himself uncloaked and humbled, as someone who can draw on his own pains and simply be present with others as one sufferer among a common sea of sufferers.
    If we had a real leader, she would speak of the dead not as a faceless mass but as individual persons, each seen in unique dignity. Such a leader would draw on the common sources of our civilization, the stores of wisdom that bring collective strength in hard times.
    Lincoln went back to the old biblical cadences to comfort a nation. After the church shooting in Charleston, Barack Obama went to “Amazing Grace,” the old abolitionist anthem that has wafted down through the long history of African-American suffering and redemption.
    In his impromptu remarks right after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy recalled the slaying of his own brother and quoted Aeschylus: “In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
    If we had a real leader, he would be bracingly honest about how bad things are, like Churchill after the fall of Europe. He would have stored in his upbringing the understanding that hard times are the making of character, a revelation of character and a test of character. He would offer up the reality that to be an American is both a gift and a task. Every generation faces its own apocalypse, and, of course, we will live up to our moment just as our ancestors did theirs.
    If we had a real leader, she would remind us of our common covenants and our common purposes. America is a diverse country joined more by a common future than by common pasts. In times of hardships real leaders re-articulate the purpose of America, why we endure these hardships and what good we will make out of them.
    After the Challenger explosion, Reagan reminded us that we are a nation of explorers and that the explorations at the frontiers of science would go on, thanks in part to those who “slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”
    At Gettysburg, Lincoln crisply described why the fallen had sacrificed their lives — to show that a nation “dedicated to the proposition that all men are equal” can long endure and also to bring about “a new birth of freedom” for all the world.
    Of course, right now we don’t have a real leader. We have Donald Trump, a man who can’t fathom empathy or express empathy, who can’t laugh or cry, love or be loved — a damaged narcissist who is unable to see the true existence of other human beings except insofar as they are good or bad for himself.
    But it’s too easy to offload all blame on Trump. Trump’s problem is not only that he’s emotionally damaged; it is that he is unlettered. He has no literary, spiritual or historical resources to draw upon in a crisis.
    All the leaders I have quoted above were educated under a curriculum that put character formation at the absolute center of education.
    They were trained by people who assumed that life would throw up hard and unexpected tests, and it was the job of a school, as one headmaster put it, to produce young people who would be “acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.”
    Think of the generations of religious and civic missionaries, like Frances Perkins, who flowed out of Mount Holyoke. Think of all the Morehouse Men and Spellman Women. Think of all the young students, in schools everywhere, assigned Plutarch and Thucydides, Isaiah and Frederick Douglass — the great lessons from the past on how to lead, endure, triumph or fail. Only the great books stay in the mind for decades and serve as storehouses of wisdom when hard times come.
    Right now, science and the humanities should be in lock step: science producing vaccines, with the humanities stocking leaders and citizens with the capacities of resilience, care and collaboration until they come. But, instead, the humanities are in crisis at the exact moment history is revealing how vital moral formation really is.
    One of the lessons of this crisis is that help isn’t coming from some centralized place at the top of society. If you want real leadership, look around you.

    1. I’m not a fan of Biden’s (Elizabeth Warren would have been my choice), but I’ll absolutely vote for Biden over Trump. And Biden’s response to “tragedies like 100,000 Covid-19 deaths” has been more presidential, as this video shows:
      It’s not even a great speech in my judgment, but it’s spoken by someone with empathy, which Trump lacks. (Michelle Goldberg responded to this video of Biden with “God knows I’ve had my criticisms of Biden but this is how a president should sound right now, and listening to it drives home what a monstrous parody of one we have.”)

      Trump’s main “problem” is that he is a malignant narcissist:

      Biden is not a malignant narcissist.

      Meanwhile, Trump continues with his daily lies (excerpt from his press conference today):
      Trump: “Anybody in California that’s breathing gets a ballot.”
      Reporter: “Mr. President, that’s not true.”

      I don’t understand why so many people embrace a pathological liar like Trump.

      1. He is far more honest than Obama. Obama is dirty. He used the powers of the federal government to sway an election. When that failed he and his people staged s coup attempt that failed.

        1. SMH that you believe any of that garbage. I dare you to present evidence for your claims, and we’ll see just how badly you ignore relevant evidence to the contrary.

          Moreover, my comment was about Biden vs. Trump.

    2. You idiots are just awful propaganda morons. As soon as I discovered the 100,000 and real potus line of doodoo, that’s it, no more reading the garbage.
      Another sick, twisted exploiter, blabbering lies. SPAM.

  3. “my column strongly encourages Twitter to admit its error and return to neutrality.”

    Whether it’s an error is a matter of opinion. Turley thinks it’s an error (and some agree with him), and many people (including me) think it isn’t.

    Justice Brandeis wrote in Whitney v The People of the State of California:
    “no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

    Twitter isn’t bound by Whitney, as Twitter isn’t a government entity. But Twitter is nonetheless doing what Justice Brandeis advocates: remedying some of Trump’s false and misleading claims by applying more speech.

    Trump’s endless gaslighting harms the country. That includes his gaslighting about voting by mail.

    “Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has doubled down on an indefensible and dangerous decision on the Trump tweets.”

    That sentence links to a Fox News article, “Twitter’s Jack Dorsey fires back at Zuckerberg, defends fact-checking Trump tweets.”

    In the interview they refer to, Zuckerberg said “I don’t think that Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth. I think that’s kind of a dangerous line to get down in terms of deciding what is true and what isn’t.”

    Hannah Arendt, in The Origins of Totalitarianism: “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e. the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e. the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

    Zuckerberg may think that labeling a false statement as false is “dangerous,” but plenty of us think it is more dangerous to be silent about gaslighting re: the election than to address it. There are, in fact, true and false statements in the world. 2 + 2 = 4, not 5. Saying that 2 + 2 = 4 doesn’t turn one into an “arbiter of truth.” Saying 2 + 2 = 4 is simply noting a fact.

    When Trump says things like “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. … This will be a Rigged Election.” he’s making a claim about the system already used by tens of millions of Americans, including all of our military serving overseas. If he believes that voting by mail makes elections “rigged,” then he’d logically have to conclude that he, himself, was elected in a rigged election. What he’s doing here is trying to prime his supporters to think that the only way he can lose is if the election is “rigged.” But he can — and I hope will — lose in a non-rigged election, and the 2020 election will allow people to vote by mail, just like his own election did in 2016.

    His claim that “The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone….. living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one” is false; as Twitter correctly notes, “only registered voters will receive ballots,” not “anyone living in the state.” Noting that false claims are false is healthy for the country.

  4. I don’t remember where election fraud was recently mentioned but here is something I just came across. One can view their own state and those that were convicted.

    A Sampling of Recent Election Fraud Cases from Across the United States

    The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database presents a sampling of recent proven instances of election fraud from across the country. This database is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list. It does not capture all cases and certainly does not capture reported instances that are not investigated or prosecuted. It is intended to demonstrate the vulnerabilities in the election system and the many ways in which fraud is committed. In addition to diluting the votes of legitimate voters, fraud can have an impact in close elections, and we have many close elections in this country. Preventing, deterring, and prosecuting election fraud is essential to protecting the integrity of our voting process. Reforms intended to ensure such integrity do not disenfranchise voters and, in fact, protect their right to vote. Winning elections leads to political power and the incentives to take advantage of security vulnerabilities are great, so it is important that we take reasonable steps to make it hard to cheat, while making it easy for legitimate voters to vote.

    1. Here is the article.

      Twitter this week slapped a warning label on some of Donald Trump’s tweets for the first time, cautioning users that the president’s “series of claims about potential voter fraud” were “unsubstantiated,” citing “CNN, Washington Post and others” for authority. “Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud,” Twitter declared.

      In an accompanying “What you need to know” list, the social media giant added that “fact checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.”

      In fact, there have been numerous cases of mail-in voter fraud scattered widely across the country over the past four years, evidence that the absentee ballot system is open to at least some voter manipulation, even as many experts and pundits continue to insist otherwise.

      According to data compiled by the Heritage Foundation, there have been around three dozen criminal convictions for absentee ballot fraud over the past four years, and those cases are but a small subset of over 200 convictions for various types of voter fraud the conservative organization says have occurred since 2016.

      In one case from 2016, Indiana police officer Lowell Colen was convicted of absentee ballot fraud in an attempt to help his father win a city council election. Colen eventually pled guilty to four felony counts of voter fraud, with prosecutors claiming he filled out false registrations and forged numerous signatures.

      In 2018, authorities arrested Florida man Bret Warren after they determined he had stolen five absentee ballots and fraudulently voted with them. Warren eventually pled no contest to two charges of false swearing in connection with voting.

      Last year, former Gordon, Alabama mayor Elbert Melton was convicted of absentee ballot fraud in a mayoral race he won by just 16 votes.

      In 2018, New Mexico authorities indicted Laura Seeds on 13 counts of voter fraud related to her husband’s 2016 mayoral race. Seeds was eventually convicted in part for illegally possessing two absentee voter ballots; her husband Robert won the race by two votes.

      Thousands of deceased registrants, double registrations

      Absentee ballot fraud is just one method of exploiting flaws in the system to perpetrate voting fraud. In some cases, for instance, dead voters have been found to have cast votes in numerous elections, as a local CBS report found in Colorado several years ago. The same phenomenon was discovered in Chicago as well.

      The potential for posthumous voter fraud may be more acute in some states than others. The Public Interest Legal Foundation, a voting watchdog group, sent a notification letter to New Jersey’s Division of Elections this week informing the state that it had found a total of nearly 12,000 “deceased individuals with an active registration in the State of New Jersey.” Roughly half of those, the foundation said, had died eight or more years ago.

      Media reports have revealed that numerous deceased residents of New Jersey have in the past received vote-by-mail notices.

      The Public Interest Legal Foundation also told New Jersey it found “830 potentially duplicated registrations across state lines with apparent voting credits assigned by election officials in each state for the 2018 General Election.” The foundation recently sent similar letters to Virginia and New Mexico.

      Cash-for-ballot fraud, ‘joke’ tampering

      Recently, some voter fraud cases have made headlines. Last week, a Democratic party official in Philadelphia pled guilty to a voter-fraud-for-cash scheme there.

      Domenick DeMuro, a Democratic ward chairman in that city, admitted that he had “fraudulently stuffed the ballot box by literally standing in a voting booth and voting over and over, as fast as he could, while he thought the coast was clear,” the Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

      DeMuro allegedly had a network of clients who paid him significant sums of money to rig elections.

      A mail carrier in Pendleton County, West Virginia, meanwhile, recently admitted to investigators that he altered mail-in voting ballot documents. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of West Virginia said in a press release yesterday that it was charging Thomas Cooper, a worker with the U.S. Postal Service, with “attempted election fraud.”

      An affidavit supplied by that office to Just the News states that last month the Pendleton County Clerk received several absentee mail-in ballot requests “in which the voter’s party-ballot request appeared to have been altered by use of a black-ink pen.” On five of the requests, “it appeared that the voters ballot choice was changed from Democrat to Republican

      West Virginia Attorney General Investigator Bennie Cogar was assigned to investigate the case, he said in the affidavit, leading both Cogar and U.S. Postal Inspector Todd Phillips to Tommy Cooper, a mail carrier for Pendleton County. “During the interview, Cooper said that ‘yes,’ he changed the requests that had been placed in the mail,” the affidavit states.

      When asked by Phillips if he was “just being silly” in altering the ballots, Cooper responded: ““Yeah … [I did it] as a joke … [I] don’t even know them.”

      “Had Cooper’s conduct not been detected, it would have caused the Clerk to give Republican ballots to 5 Democrat voters — skewing the primary election by 5 votes and thereby defrauding all West Virginian’s [sic] of a fair election,” the affidavit states.

      1. Funny, like to useless hack you are, you omitted the ONLY significant example of voter fraud in America, the Republican machine organized cheating in North Carolina in 2018. This didn’t involve a tiny handful of votes for dogcatcher or school board in BFE nowhere.

        this is to “oh, ya, but I’m not really trying to be informative, just a useless hack” allen/allan

        1. Good example but not the only voter fraud. In that case it was Republican voter fraud. You are an ideologue. I will go after anyone that promotes voter fraud. It’s anti-American.

          Check out the Project Veritas videos on voter fraud for just a sampling of what goes on.

      2. I could do it easily. Just be one of those door to door ballot collectors. Even if they fill it out, I have my printed blanks and an assortment of pens, and then it’s easy.
        After making sure everyone voted communist, I turn them in. Also any hanging in mailboxes at empty residences I scoop up along the route, and any in trash cans.

        Man. I’m a good commie candidate !

    2. The 3rd most populous state in the US in this report lists 8 possible instances since 2000 which more stringent voter ID laws MIGHT have stopped, though unlikely. There have been 5 general elections and 5 off year elections and who knows how many local elections in that period and about 75 million votes cast in that period in the state. A much more serious problem as it relates to election integrity is the disenfranchisement of eligible voters who struggle to get the exact right ID or are disqualified because of variations in the spelling of their name, or other dumb ass stuff. This report clearly demonstrates that the problem is virtually non-existent and the supposed cure much worse as it effects our electoral integrity.

      Thanks Allan.

      1. This was not a complete list since it just touches the surface to disprove the lie that there has been no voter fraud. You guys have to learn to deal with facts. We need a picture ID to get on a plane or get a library card. All Citizens should have some sort of valid ID just so they can enter into all the things of American life.

        I will post one of many articles demonstrating why we have to worry about voter fraud.


          Nevada’s vote-by-mail primary stirs fraud concerns, as unclaimed ballots pile up: ‘Something stinks here’
          Andrew O’ReillyMay 15
          Fox News Flash top headlines for May 14

          Red flags are being raised about the all-mail voting system being used in Nevada’s most populous county ahead of the state’s June 9 primary election amid reports that thousands of ballots are being sent to inactive voters — fueling concerns about the possibility of voter fraud and ballot harvesting.

          Thousands of ballots have been sent out by the Clark County Election Department to inactive voters – those who have not voted in recent elections, a roster that can include people who either have moved or are deceased – and the envelopes are piling up in post office trays, outside apartment complexes and on community bulletin boards in and around Las Vegas.

          The excess ballots have drawn complaints from local residents, who worry that anyone could pick up a ballot off the street and cast a fraudulent vote, as well as from Republican Party officials in the state who see a nefarious motive behind the vote-by-mail system being employed by the Democrat-dominated Clark County Commission.

          ‘This just seems fraudulent to me, something stinks here.’

          — Jenny Trobiani, a postal worker in Clark County
          “What’s going to happen with these things, they’re not secured at all and there are thousands of them just sitting here,” Jenny Trobiani, a postal worker in Clark County who told Fox News that she has seen hundreds of ballots being mailed to inactive voters.

          “This just seems fraudulent to me, something stinks here,” she added.

          While the coronavirus pandemic has elevated the conversation surrounding mail-in ballots to the national stage, the debate over the issue has been batted back and forth between Democrats and Republicans in the Silver State for a while.

          Most recently, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and progressive political nonprofit Priorities USA dropped a request for immediate relief in a lawsuit against Clark County after officials agreed to implement multiple changes to voting in June that included sending out ballots to inactive voters and opening up two additional in-person voting sites. The lawsuit, however, to eliminate the signature verification process is still in the courts.

          “The Clark County Registrar made the right decision in moving to mail ballots to all registered voters — not just those deemed ‘active,’ expanding the number of in-person polling locations, and updating their signature review process,” Nevada Democrats said in a statement earlier this month.

          According to the court filing, the changes will cost county taxpayers at least $323,000.

          Democrats are still miffed that the state’s existing election laws outlaw “ballot harvesting” – calling the statute unconstitutional and raising the specter of further litigation. Ballot harvesting, or the practice of allowing political operatives and others to collect voters’ ballots and turn them in en masse to polling stations, has drawn bipartisan concerns of fraud from election watchers.

          The decision by Clark County officials to agree to Democratic demands has vexed Republican Party leaders in the state.

          “The Democratic county commissioners were working with the Democratic Party on some kind of backroom deal,” Rick Gorka, the deputy communications director for the Republican National Committee, told Fox News. “If Trump was accused of doing this, there would be an outrage.”

          Republicans argue that sending out ballots to inactive voters will make the polling process ripe for fraud.

          “Anyone can turn in a ballot they pick off the ground,” Keith Schipper, the Nevada Trump Victory communications director, told Fox News. “This is a dangerous proposition.”

          Ballots laying on the sidewalk outside an apartment complex in Las Vegas. (Photo Courtesy of Jim M.)
          Ballots laying on the sidewalk outside an apartment complex in Las Vegas. (Photo Courtesy of Jim M.)
          Schipper added that with Democrats vowing to continue legal action to overturn the state’s ban on ballot harvesting, Republicans are concerned about how the issue will affect the outcome of November’s presidential election in a key battleground state.

          “They made it pretty clear they will continue with the lawsuit to make sure they get what they want for the November election,” Schipper added.

          Ballots being sent to inactive voters may be a concern for the GOP in Nevada, but nationally Republicans have also railed against ballot harvesting as they worry they’ll see another scenario like the one during the 2018 midterm elections in California’s Orange County.

          Despite holding substantial leads on Election Day, many Republican candidates in California saw their advantage shrink, and then disappear, as late-arriving Democratic votes were counted in the weeks following the election. Many observers pointed to the Democrats’ use of ballot harvesting as a key to their success in the elections.


          In Orange County, Calif. – once seen as a Republican stronghold in the state – every House seat went to a Democrat after an unprecedented 250,000 vote-by-mail drop-offs were counted, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

          “People were carrying in stacks of 100 and 200 of them. We had had multiple people calling to ask if these people were allowed to do this,” Neal Kelley, the registrar for voters in Orange County, said at the time.

          California had recently legalized ballot harvesting ahead of the election. In 2019, a GOP operative in North Carolina was arrested related to alleged ballot harvesting, which is prohibited in that state.

          Several states have enacted some restrictions on the practice, while others have expressly allowed it or failed to regulate it at all. According to a 2019 analysis by Ballotpedia, 24 states and the District of Columbia permit someone chosen by the voter to return mail ballots on their own, with nine of those states adding some specific exceptions.

          Twelve states outline who specifically can return ballots (such as family members or caregivers); and one state explicitly requires that only voters can return their ballots. Eleven states establish a limit on the number of ballots that a so-called “harvester” can return.

          Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

    3. JT’s opinion only makes sense if he’s a post modernist. There are no facts, only opinions.

      “Postmodern thinkers frequently describe knowledge claims and value systems as contingent or socially-conditioned, describing them as products of political, historical, or cultural discourses and hierarchies. Common targets of postmodern criticism include universalist ideas of objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, reason, science, language, and social progress. “

      1. Anon, are you now dictating what JT is permitted to write on his own blog?

        JT has provided plenty of facts and quotes to back up his legal opinions. He doesn’t make sense to you because you don’t have the requisite understanding or knowledge to deal with the material JT brings to the table. Most of the time he is quite clear and makes sure to write at a level that should be understandable to interested high school graduates. What he says is mostly not that difficult.

  5. This President has a history of being correct and consistent over the span of many decades. Compare Trump’s consistency to Biden.

  6. I don’t even see how this is a freedom of speech issue. Does anyone have the constitutional right to use a privately-owned corporation’s servers to transmit whatever they want to millions of people? Twitter and Facebook are the de facto publishing houses of the 21st century, and claiming they’re not ignores how people receive information in a modern democracy. Of course Twitter should fact check, and of course they should be responsible for misinformation.

    1. And, of course, competitors should compete.

      Once again, American free enterprise self-resolves through the competition generated by American free enterprise.

      Well, except for the period of an election, during which equal time for the censored opposition candidates must be provided.

      That which is censored by the media communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) must be presented by the

      media communists, severally and for an equal period of time, during an election.

    2. You don’t see because Government already inserted itself. Did you even read the article ?
      Twitter claims to offer an open platform, they don’t claim to be the arbiters of all truths.
      But you want them to be ?
      I guess your brain is stuck in a bubble.

      One of the worst current aspects of the this thing is Trump made a prediction based upon history and predicted the future corruption coming. It’s a sensible prediction and a position by half the USA. The other half, who would be advantaged by claiming the opposite “future outcome” decided to “fact check”.

      Now, you can’t fact check the future ! You don’t get to fact check exaggerations and slyly determine that means everything is wrong or it’s – get this joke “so many pinocchios” out of whatever, it’s the future, and you have exactly zero proof of that.

      So there’s all sorts of problems fact checking, and the very biggest is whose agenda is the fact checker working for ?

      We would see just how bad fact checking is if we made certain Trump appointed the fact checkers. Oh boy, unholy toothpicks would explode. That alone shows what fact checking is all about. It’s completely unreliable, especially in this hot partisan environment when all the goons scream it’s the very most important election ever your very lives and futures depend on it.

      1. First of all, Twitter can claim whatever it wants. It already is the “arbiter of all truths” whether it admits it or not. They can remove any post at any time for any reason and correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there’s any legal recourse for the user. As far as facts go, maybe my view of them is less elastic than yours. I do think there are facts and I think that knowing them is important to the citizens any democracy. For example, the US presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Fact. Obviously fact-checkers should be nonpartisan.

  7. Very interesting and informative article.
    I think capitalism provides the solution – by going the way of the Leftist media machine, Twitter’s opening up a wide lane for competition. All a platform has to do to attract users is NOT infringe on the lawful demonstration of their freedom of expression, and Twitter becomes what it so desperately wants to be – a Leftist echo-chamber where adherants can preen and strut – a sort of hell really – but a ghostland of what it currently is.

    Everybody with a brain can use the big boy/girl platform.

    1. em

      it doesnt quite work that way in reality.

      first of all there are “networking effects” which make the massive social media platforms very sticky

      the last one to go down was myspace– over a decade ago– none of the front runners show any signs of abating

      capitalism requires raising capital, ie, equity contributions, and loans

      the scale of competition required for entry against the established players is so massive all these adam smith notions are out of date

      “gab” tried this, btw, and where is it now?

      “deplatforming” is a form of social resources competition that has emerged from capitalism but implements social-political agendas that are more compelling than the neutral rules of theoretical capitalism

    2. Capitalism is an irrelevant pejorative created by Karl Marx.

      Americans enjoy freedom and engage in free enterprise.

      Competition generated by free enterprise resolves every commercial anomaly – if there is no solution, there is no problem.

      Regulation is unconstitutional, but for that of the value of money, the “flow” of commerce and land and naval Forces.

      The People in States enjoy the same rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities as the People in the several States, including

      immunities from taxation for that which is not “…general Welfare…” but which is individual welfare, specific welfare or charity, and

      immunities from regulation.

    3. Yeah, such a shortage of right wing tweeters and the poor Prez can’t even accuse somebody of murder without…… wait! Those tweets are still up?

  8. Forget Trump as an element of this debate; the simple fact is, either these social meeting platforms are neutral and protected from suit, or they are editorial and moderating, and are not protected by lawsuit.
    They have been having it both ways, with no clear TOS or ways of determining, or correcting, how they are allegedly violated when the sites censor speech.
    The danger here is real; the social networking platforms are the new townsquare, it is how people communicate en mass with eachother — for them to have the ability to put a thumb on the scale of common social communication regarding national and election speech is to influence said elections artificially.
    And given the circumstance that should be illegal.
    That Trump is finally the one doing this is telling, as he is more than willing to be antiestablishmentarian, and this truly needed to be clarified.

    1. Yes, one of the most insidious things is they don’t make it clear what the takedowns, demonetizing (youtube) and bannings are for. Users have to guess, and reach a critical assumption before some words or actions are avoided, in order to avoid consequences. With the double standard that protects the left, things are more confusing and frustrating. Turn about is not fair play, if you’re not dem/left a turn about is a ban. The anger must be immense. A few token left are sacrificed so that the exception to the rule can be shown as fairness, another insidious plot. Preferably sacrificed if a stray from the plantation is detected.

      My CIA/17 intel agencies would be inside their companies pulling proof and ops and feeding the info to the proper disbursement channels. If no one on the right could do it because morals and prayers, I’d announce that publicly. Then I’d publicly wave goodbye to the USA.

      A famous radio personality just today said government intervention won’t solve anything for republicans/the right that is getting banned and expelled from credit cards and banks (OBAMA) and patreons and all the rest.

      Well, if the repub right can’t come up with something sneaky and played out angles and a tremendous stomping to straighten it all out, well then we currently don’t have the USA anymore anyway.

      1. “A famous radio personality just today said government intervention won’t solve anything for republicans/the right that is getting banned and expelled from credit cards and banks”

        What did republicans/the right do to piss off capitalism?

        1. Nothing. They said freedom of association with businesses is a right. You libbers said like heck I’m oppressed and tip toeing through the tulips now bake me a cake. After you established your tyranny over private businesses with the full power of the government, you went to your next scam. Ban ’em. Your lib gov agents and elected got right on media and demanded it. In the back rooms they made their calls and other threats and midnight mandates to the bureaucracies.

          You haven’t been paying attention.

    2. Gary, your premise is based on the idea that trying limit untruths or irresponsible and posts is being editorial

      You understand that there is a real world and within that world there thingies we call facts, right? Not everything cab be viewed as partisan spin, much as you may depend on it to think.

      I remember when conservatives were not post modernists who thought there were only “texts” who with their authors were subject to analysis, and that was the only reality we could discover. Fortunately that will BS will pass in academia eventually, but it’s disconcerting to see it find a home in the GOP.

      1. We know you are liars and you and yours are in control and you and yours have been breaking your 230 immunity. We have the videos, we have the documents, we have the flat out lies in congressional testimony, we have the idiot critters lying too – Adam Schiffery it is called.
        So we can’t have any of your type fact checking ever, but currently you’re the only type that is allowed. Being guilty criminal lying skum, it is covered up as best can be mustered by more lies and half baked blabbering.
        So it’s not about is there a real truth. It’s about lying criminal skum as claimed fact checkers.
        We could just, for instance, fact check with the ultra left university professors, after all their credentials means they are correct, don’t they ? You’d say yes but you’d be wrong.

        Thus the answer is removing the rat faced babbling crybabies from power. Hopefully that happens then you and yours will have to face not being the fascist smear campaign lying mongers we’ve had to ignore for a long time. If you object 3.5 years of muh russia really deserves at the very least an internment camp from fact checking ever.

    3. “Forget Trump as an element of this debate; the simple fact is, either these social meeting platforms are neutral and protected from suit, or they are editorial and moderating, and are not protected by lawsuit.”

      They’ve moderated content from their inception. That is part of their Terms of Service. Turley also moderates content here (I’ve seen a comment be deleted here, and his Civility Rule page clearly notes his willingness to delete comments and even ban people. So your argument also implies that you don’t want Turley to be protected from lawsuits for what’s said in the comments here.

  9. Woke Social media has brought this on themselves.

    It is the progressive who seek to shutdown free speech.

    1. Yes, but nothing is on them yet.
      I don’t know what the odds makers are offering, but we see what “control” is exercised and it’s 100% dem/left. DC is so infected and opaque and filled with deadpan liars it’s literally years before giant conspiracies are busted.

      So obviously the social media complex is on a rabid destroying mission with government assistance and has been for many years.

  10. “Speech regulation will evidently go back in time to retroactively mark unreliable views. The website archive service called Wayback Machine claims it will label articles as “disinformation” when faced with views it deems false or misleading. Now there will be both censorship and retroactive action taken against past thoughts.” — from The Hill column

    There’s certainly no censorship going on, and it’s not completely clear that there’s a “serious attack on free speech.” Twitter isn’t limiting what Trump can say, nor is it making it more difficult for his audience to read what he has to say. Twitter is only adding its own opinion that Trump’s views may be “unreliable,” “false” or “misleading.” In other words, Twitter is responding to speech it doesn’t like with more speech. Unlike the disruptions of speech that occur too frequently on college campuses, Twitter’s warnings can easily be ignored. I’m not saying that I approve of Twitter’s warnings. I’m just saying that the case isn’t as clear cut as Turley is making it.

    1. So just pretend people are banned and shadow banned, and their posts not knocked down in the feed, and their followers not notified or removed, etc etc etc, nor the selling of followers (yes it’s a thing don’t be so thick)…

      Apparently the only evil in social media is the Russians pre-2016 election.
      That’s how goofball your fact checkers are.

  11. Trump Has ‘Benefitted’ From Current Law

    President Trump, who built his political career on the power of a flame-throwing Twitter account, has now gone to war with Twitter, angered that it would presume to fact-check his messages. But the punishment he is threatening could force social media companies to crack down even more on customers just like Mr. Trump.

    The draft executive order that Mr. Trump may sign as soon as Thursday would seek to strip liability protection in certain cases for companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook for the content on their sites, meaning they could face legal jeopardy if they allowed false and defamatory posts. Without a liability shield, they presumably would have to be more aggressive about policing messages that press the boundaries — like the president’s.

    That, of course, is not the outcome Mr. Trump wants. What he wants is to have the freedom to post anything he likes without the companies applying any judgment to his messages, as Twitter did this week when it began appending “get the facts” warnings to some of his false posts on voter fraud. Furious at what he called “censorship” — even though his messages were not in fact deleted — Mr. Trump is wielding the proposed executive order like a club to compel the company to back down.

    It may not work even as intended. Plenty of lawyers quickly said on Thursday that he was claiming power to do something he does not have by essentially revising the interpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the main law passed by Congress in 1996 to lay out the rules of the road for online media. Legal experts predicted such a move would be challenged and possibly struck down by the courts.

    But the logic of Mr. Trump’s order is intriguing because it attacks the very legal provision that has allowed him such latitude to publish with impunity a whole host of inflammatory, factually distorted messages that a media provider might feel compelled to take down if it was forced into the legal role of a publisher that faced the risk of legal liability rather than a distributor that does not.

    “Ironically, Donald Trump is a big beneficiary of Section 230,” said Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, which instantly objected to the proposed order. “If platforms were not immune under the law, then they would not risk the legal liability that could come with hosting Donald Trump’s lies, defamation and threats.”

    As a legal matter, Mr. Trump and his allies would be on stronger ground if Congress were to rewrite the law, as some Republicans like Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida are vowing to do.

    The Communications Decency Act was passed during the dawn of the modern information age, intended at first to make it easier for online sites run by early pioneer companies like Prodigy and AOL to block pornography without running afoul of legal challenges.

    By terming such sites as distributors rather than publishers, Section 230 gave them important immunity from lawsuits. Over time, the law became the guarantor of a rollicking, almost no-holds-barred internet by letting sites set rules for what is and is not allowed without being liable for everything posted by visitors, as opposed to a newspaper, which is responsible for whatever it publishes.

    Since Section 230 was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the courts have repeatedly shot down challenges to get around it, invoking a broad interpretation of immunity. In recent years, the court system has been flooded with litigants claiming that social media companies blocked them or their content.

    Edited from: “Trump’s Proposed Order On Social Media Could Harm One Person In Particular: Trump”

    Today’s New York Times

    1. “the PLA’s combination of psychological warfare;
      the manipulation of public opinion, or media warfare;
      and the manipulation of legal arguments to strengthen China’s diplomatic and security
      position—or what China calls “legal warfare”—
      join together in a comprehensive information operations doctrine.

      Director, Strategic Studies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press

      1. ” the manipulation of legal arguments to strengthen China’s diplomatic and security
        position—or what China calls “legal warfare””

        Oh the horror. China is using lawful means to promote its interests.
        We should be shocked, absolutely shocked!

  12. Trump has lied more than 18,000 times while in office, as documented by the Washington Post, and many more times before that. Many of these lies occurred on Twitter.

    At some point, it is appropriate for Twitter to either ban his account, or to put a disclaimer on every tweet from his account saying “this guy has lied more than 18,000 times, so have caution in reading anything he says here.”

    As for what twitter did here, it is grossly inadequate to the situation – and it is a situation Trump created.

    1. Twitter should ban his account while it lets CCP officials of the PRC tell their lies unimpeded?

      And Twitter is banning Chinese dissident accounts too

      it has one Ms Li Fei Fei running its AI censorship routines

      pathetic that Americans are so poorly informed about how the CCP has coopted Twitter

    2. Exactly why fact checkers are full of baloney, every single time. WAPO is the literal spook press, and Trump hate is 18,000 ‘percent’.
      Trump is the most honest President we have had in living memory. He tells the truth, while you lie.
      Now you should understand, fact checkers are liars, and paid to be so.

      1. Shakdi, every comment you post hinges on conspiracies as promoted by Donald Trump. I haven’t seen one comment from you yet that can stand on it’s own ‘without’ conspiracies.

    3. Disclaimer Needed – I think that now the Mueller Report is in, the Durham Report and indictments are coming, the DC Circuit is about to spank Judge Sullivan, the IG report on FISA is in, we should take a look at those 18,000 and see how many were true to begin with. What do you say??

  13. In days of old folks went onto shortwave radios to listen to Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. The commies had radio Russia or some such name.

  14. Just added these two into the mix as a guide to what you thought they said and what they really said.

    Political correctness is fascism parading as manners.
    -George Carlin

    “Don’t teach dialectic materialism or socialist economics as something to understand. Preach it as a gospel.”
    – V.I Lrnin

  15. Congress has NO power to regulate anything other than the value of money, the “flow” of commerce and land and naval Forces.

    Industries must self-regulate for ethical and legal purposes. As slavery should have been resolved through the employment of free

    market tools such as advocacy, boycotts and divestiture, social media may only be modified through the effects of free market

    competition. Google, Twitter, Facebook et al. must be opposed and modified by effective competition. If consumers demand free-speech

    social media, the current purveyors will be forced to respond, to compete.

    1. Try reading the Constitution some time instead of listening to Pelosi or Schumer. Specifically off the top of my head Congress has the power to regulate the military. That’s one but it only takes one mistake to doubt the rest of your comment.

      And the miitary under it’s Oath of Office has the duty to protect and defend The Constitution and nothing else.

      Remember that when you think about wanting martial law and how you will face a military tribunal as Pelosi and Schumer, Schiff, Feinstein, Ocasio and Omar are going to have to do at some time. Except the last two of four illegally in Congres at present never took the Oath of OIffice aka The Squat. One of the reasons Pelosi will face that tribunal.

      No exemptions under martial law.

      Not to mention the tribunal of the public when The Citizens fire off their votes on every level of government.

      1. And even if they did they have violated that oath so many times giving their allegiance to a foreign ideology No way they won’t be found guilty no matter which court they face.

        Only way for an unrepentent sociailist regressive democrat to dodge the firepower is bolt the party register as something else and … not vote at all.

        Except tor true Pelosite and Schumerians. They have no way out..

  16. Turley does not mention in his piece that Trump lies, misrepresents or exaggerated most of the time on most topics. That is not just a matter of opinion, but pretty pretty objective fact. That makes him different than an ordinary politician.

    Unfortunately, he is given unique access to the country’s investigative and fact finding apparatuses, which means many people will assume what he says is true, merely because a President is not supposed to lie to us all the time.

    Turley does not have a solution to that problem.

    1. Twitter scolds trump and lets the CCP officials run amuck
      Twitter also bans Chinese dissdent accounts on behest of the CCP
      Twitter has a woman named Li Fei Fei who is a CCP mole of some sort running its ai censorship routines

      Twitter has to clean up its act before it presumes to scold the POTUS

    2. Seig Us No Heils Comrade Collective You serve The Party and we have Our Constitutional Republic.

      1. That is the only truth they have and has nothing to do with truth as it is known by decent American Citizens TLMOTT what ever is like all leftist trash spit scared to act ike a human because they are not human just machine programmers of the far left. Two words explains it all. Ad Machina.

    3. Pushing Four years and the regressive socialists have yet to provide any proof at all on any subject. Even their Seig Heils are a lie. But then yiou can always blame St. James of Carville for his sermon of near twenty years ago on why your truth is sacred while we take it as a foreign ideology oath of allegiance and a repudiation to Our Constitutional Republic to which you do NOT belong.

    4. Some joker makes a name to login and spew his opinion.
      He is a concerned citizen, others might not notice Trump lies or embellishes and that’s not like other politicians….(My God. The stupidity just screams at the brain cells.)
      Why thank you concerned citizen who just made an account and named it. If only the average Joe was smart enough to deduce Trump lies and exaggerates instead of being an intern murderer !
      What will we do, Karen ?! We cannot allow that – that man…. to wield the shine of the secret intel he is always receiving, which by the way, he publicly denounces sometimes !!! Another obvious lie !!!
      But but… but he has the truth behind our investigative agencies but he … tells lies… but do they match… hmm.. he lies we can’t have this… the blog master doesn’t have a solution to that – but I want …. my solution…does not compute… our left wing Trump haters filled with rage and caught on tape planning to attack him – will tell us what the truth is… “take that Jonathan Turley !”


      1. Most certainly you can read the Constitution. Most certainly you know that Congress has the power to tax only for “…general Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, excluding any power to tax for individual or specific welfare. Most certainly you know that “general” represents all and distinctly not individual or specific. Most certainly you know that Congress has NO power to tax for any form of redistribution of wealth or charity. Most certainly you know that 80% of the current communistic government cannot be taxed for, funded or exist. Most certainly you know that taxes must be eliminated by 80% for billionaires and every other group.
        Most certainly you know that the only constitutional taxes are those which provide for security and infrastructure. The implication of your presentation is that the Constitution is the Communist Manifesto and that the Communist Manifesto is the Constitution and that the two are the same and that the two are not different.

        Are you out of your —-ing mind?

        Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

        Article 1, Section 8

        The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

      2. they could care less about a few dimes and nickels under the couch, which could represent a lifetime of savings to regular folks

        trump’s tax cut had intended economic effects that correspond to his national economic priorities, that’s why, anyhow

        1. No Kurtz, the tax cuts did not have “intended economic effects”, unless you mean making him and his kids and buddies richer. The stimulus lasted a year, didn’t cause new investment as intended, and now will cost those middle class deplorable’s kids and grand kids $1 trillion plus interest down the road.

          How you can continue to convince yourself this guy is serious and GAF about anything other than his transparent and weak ego needs is a mystery, but does not speak well of your judgments on other peoples character or abilities.

          “:….Two years after his administration passed a massive tax cut for corporations meant to spur economic growth, the verdict is in, and the results are embarrassing. The tax cuts did not “unleash animal spirits” (as the business media is so fond of saying). And it did not usher in a period of 3% GDP growth (as Trump’s administration was so fond of echoing).

          The plan did not — by any stretch of the imagination — “pay for itself with growth and reduced deductions,” as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said it would back in 2017. In fact, the US budget deficit has grown by 50% since Trump took office.

          There was one tax promise the administration did keep, and with gusto: It dramatically lowered the tax responsibility for big corporations. According to analysis by the Tax Policy Center, the government’s projections for how much revenue it would take in after the law passed were too high across the board. But none were as sugar-coated as its projection for how much corporate tax revenue it would collect, which was off by about 40%.

          Under Trump’s tax law, corporations paid $135 billion less in taxes in 2018 than the year before.

          Corporations did not reinvest that lovely payday back into the US economy, either — another one of the bill’s supposed selling points.

          Trump and his allies claimed that with this tax windfall corporates would unleash a tide of investment into the economy, but that never materialized. Growth in business investment was lackluster in 2019, and in testimony before Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell pointed to this sluggishness as a contributor to slowing GDP growth in the third quarter of last year.

          In other words, once corporate CEOs got their sweet, sweet tax cut, they spent just a little on the actual sorts of investments that could boost the economy and then kept the rest to pour into a record number of stock buybacks (we can argue about the value of buybacks another time, but they certainly aren’t helping substantially boost GDP growth right now)….”

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