Our Representatives Need To Speak More Carefully

The New York Post today posted an article about some recent comments by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar regarding the events of September 11, 2001.

Congresswoman Omar recently stated the following in a speech she made at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last month– “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” First of all, CAIR was founded in 1994–before September 11, 2001. Second of all, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Trial. That is the trial where the government exhibits include the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to undermine the government of America. The government exhibits are on line. Please look them up if you haven’t yet looked at them.

Meanwhile, The New York Post today posted an article that I believe is the correct answer to Congresswoman’s statement.

The article states:

On 9/11/01 my son, firefighter Jimmy Riches was murdered along with close to 3,000 American citizens by Muslim terrorists.

I rushed to Engine 4 in Lower Manhattan when I heard what was happening. That’s where my son worked.

As I came over the Brooklyn Bridge, the towers had both already fallen. All the rigs at the firehouse were gone, so I knew they were all at the World Trade Center.

When I got there, I saw the death and destruction — people lying there dead and mangled.

We picked up the bodies and saw how gruesome it was. Those people died a horrible death.

We were there for 9 months picking up body parts, pieces.

We found my son’s body six months later, March 5, 2002. He was at the North Tower. We got to bury him.

People talk about closure, but that’s not closure. I’ll never get closure until my son walks through that door again.

It was the worst day for me, to lose my son and all those other people. They went to work that day to help people and they ended up murdered.

My son died doing his job, helping others in distress. The American public said NEVER FORGET 9/11!

Now, we have people who were working down there getting sick and dying. It hasn’t ended.

Congresswoman Omar owes a lot of people an apology. Unfortunately Congresswoman Omar represents her district. She will probably be in the House of Representatives for a while. This is what happens when immigration without assimilation is allowed.

The Equality Act of 2019

One thing most of us have learned over the years is that the better the name of the bill introduced in Congress sounds, the farther from the truth the title is. We saw that with the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) which should have been named the lose your insurance and your doctor and pay more act.

Last month the Democrats in the U. S. House of Representatives introduced The Equality Act of 2019. It should have been named the anti-free speech and anti-religion act of 2019.

On March 14th, The Heritage Foundation posted an article listing seven reasons why the law would not encourage equality.

The article lists the reasons:

1. It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.

We have already seen this attempted in the case of Jack Phillips’ battle with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. He is only one example.

2. It would compel speech.

Both federal and private employers could face costly lawsuits if they fail to implement strict preferred pronoun policies. Employees could be disciplined if they fail to comply, regardless of their scientific or moral objections.

3. It could shut down charities.

Adoption agencies that hold to a Biblical definition of marriage have been shut down because of their beliefs.

4. It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.

5. It could be used to coerce medical professionals.

Under state sexual orientation and gender identity laws, individuals who identify as transgender have sued Catholic hospitals in California and New Jersey for declining to perform hysterectomies on otherwise healthy women who wanted to pursue gender transition. 

If these lawsuits succeed, medical professionals would be pressured to treat patients according to ideology rather than their best medical judgment.

6. It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.

This has already happened. In Ohio, a judge removed a biological girl from her parents’ custody after they declined to help her “transition” to male with testosterone supplements.

After the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic recommended these treatments for the girl’s gender dysphoria, the parents wanted to pursue counseling instead. Then the county’s family services agency charged the parents with abuse and neglect, and the judge terminated their custody.

7. It would enable sexual assault. 

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would give male sexual predators who self-identify as females access to private facilities, increasing the likelihood of these tragic incidents. 

It could also make victims less likely to report sexual misconduct and police less likely to get involved, for fear of being accused of discrimination

The proposed Equality Act could impose a nationwide bathroom policy that would leave women and children in particular vulnerable to predators. It actually would promote inequality by elevating the ideologies of special-interest groups to the level of protected groups in civil rights law. 

This is not a law that I want to see passed. It does not do anything to promote equality. In fact, it creates the kind of inequality that the ruling class pigs created in George Orwell’s Animal Farm where “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Irony At Its Best

The Trump tax cuts made life a little easier for most Americans. They made life a little more difficult for some middle class and wealthy people in states with high taxes. Oddly enough, many of these states with high taxes are blue states with large populations and huge state budgets. Some of the most affected states were California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, all reliably blue states. Those states control 116 Electoral College votes and send 106 Representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives (out of 435 total Representatives). Now, after all the complaining that the Trump tax cuts were tax cuts for the rich (which they were not), Democrats want to give the wealthy in high-tax states their tax cuts.

Real Clear Politics posted an article today about the Democrats’ plan.

The article reports:

Democrats often complain that tax cuts primarily benefit “the rich,” but apparently they only think it’s a problem when rich conservatives get a tax break, because they’re outraged that President Trump’s tax cuts scaled back a generous subsidy enjoyed by well-off taxpayers in liberal states.

A key provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a new cap on the so-called State and Local Tax (“SALT”) Deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes on their federal tax return. This provision forces taxpayers in low-tax states such as Florida and Texas to effectively subsidize those in high-tax states such as New York and California.

For years, blue-state Democrats have been able to raise state income and property taxes far higher than voters might normally tolerate. That’s because the SALT deduction softened the impact for taxpayers in those states, particularly for the rich campaign-donor class. Since the SALT deduction only applies to taxpayers who itemize their returns, its benefits naturally accrue to those in the highest income bracket.

There was previously no limit to how much taxpayers could deduct through SALT, but even though the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act capped the deduction at $10,000, almost 93 percent of American taxpayers will be unaffected. It’s likely that fewer taxpayers will elect to take advantage of SALT, since the law also doubled the standard deduction, but about 11 million of the highest-earning Americans living in high-tax states are seeing their federal income tax liabilities increase.

It’s curious that liberals who criticized Trump so vociferously for “cutting taxes on the wealthy” are so upset by an element of the tax reform plan that merely takes away a tax break enjoyed disproportionately by the wealthy.

The problem here is simple. The Democrats believe that President Trump cut taxes for the rich (which he didn’t), but it was the wrong rich. However, just for the record, since most of the tax burden falls on Americans who are relatively successful, their tax cuts are going to seem larger than those who pay little or no taxes.

The following chart is from a Pew Research article. The figures are from 2015:

People who make over $100,000 (which in some areas of the country is not a lot of spending power) pay over 80% of all income taxes paid. I think we need to reopen the discussion of a flat tax. Everyone needs to have an equal stake in the game.

Who Gets To Be Represented In Congress?

One America News Network reported yesterday that the Supreme Court will take up the matter of the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

The article reports:

The Trump Administration is looking to appeal a ruling by the Southern District of New York, which struck down their request. The ruling then headed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals; however, this latest move means Justices will resolve the case before the lower court has the chance to review it.

The Department of Justice said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who announced he would pursue updating the questionnaire in 2018, has the legal authority to include the citizenship question on next year’s census.

However, the district judge cast doubt on the reasoning behind Ross’ decision to include the question in the survey. The judge argued its inclusion would be unlawful and would violate the Administrative Procedure Act, but Ross cited the need to enforce the Voting Rights Act by asking census-takers if they are citizens of the United States.

The agency argued the question was included in previous years, with it last being seen in 1950.

Why is this important? It’s important for the House of Representatives and for the Electoral College.

The National Immigration Forum explained the impact of the question in an article posted in August 2018:

Because Congress is reapportioned in accordance with overall population, states with large undocumented populations that would go uncounted stand to lose representation. Due to the growth of the immigrant population in the southeast in recent years, in both rural towns and large southern cities like Atlanta and Charlotte, the impact of a census undercount will be felt in blue and red areas alike. As one expert has noted, the states “most disadvantaged, however, are not those with simply the most undocumented people,” like New York or Illinois. Rather, the states with the highest proportion of undocumented people compared to overall population would be the most impacted. These states include solid blue states like California, Maryland and New Jersey, but also a number of red states and swing states – Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and Texas. To the extent the citizenship question drives down the response rate, these states are most likely to lose congressional representation.

The number of votes a state receives in the Electoral College is also partially determined by the number of Representatives the state has in Congress, so an accurate count of the population is also important in determining the number of electors.

Putting the citizenship question on the 2020 Census will allow a more realistic count of American citizens. American citizens are the people Congress is supposed to represent. You gain the right to vote and to be represented when you become a citizen. Otherwise, you are simply a guest. Would you let a guest (invited or uninvited) determine the rules and budget of your household?

Representative Lee Zeldin Explains Why He Did Not Vote For The Democrats’ Resolution Condemning Hate

Representative Zeldin’s speech condemning the Democrats’ resolution on hate speech was posted at Hot Air today. I wonder if anyone is listening. Here is the speech:

 

This Didn’t Happen In A Vacuum

There is a bit of a dust up right now within the Democrat Party as to how to handle some recent anti-Semitic remarks by Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Unfortunately this is not the first time in this Congress that anti-Semitic remarks have been made. The difference is that some of the new Congressmen are not willing to condemn those remarks. Speaker Pelosi., with her eye on retaining Democrat control of the House of Representatives, is in the difficult position of harnessing the energy of the new Representatives while not alienating Jewish voters who generally support Democrats. But we need to take a look at where we are and how we got here.

Ilhan Oman represents the 5th Distict in Minnesota, which includes Minneapolis.

On March 5th, PJ Media reported the following about Minneapolis:

Which brings us to Little Mogadishu, in the city soon to be formerly known as Minneapolis, where the good people of Minnesota — of Scandinavian, German, and Irish stock —  have been busily importing people from perhaps the most culturally alien region of the world, Muslim East Africa, whose charming natives are unlikely to follow the traditional immigrant path outlined above. In Charles Dickens’s masterpiece, Bleak House, Mrs. Jellyby ignores her own brood while busily organizing aid to Africa; today’s Mrs. Jellybys have instead have brought East Africa to them.

…A group of Somali volunteers including Abdirahman Mukhtar, left, and Abdullahi Farah gave out pizza and tea to young people from a stand Friday in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.The men hope by connecting with youth and engaging them in conversation they can combat the shootings that have recently plagued the neighborhood. After the  latest spasm of gang violence, Minneapolis’ Somali residents and business owners on Monday stepped up their calls for help from City Hall and police headquarters to help curb the senseless shootings that they say too often go overlooked. On Friday alone, five men of Somali descent were shot in separate attacks, one fatally.

The Somali immigration is largely the result of United Nations policies.

This is the district Ilham Oman represents. The Somali population has not assimilated. It has brought Somalia with it. She represents the views of the people who live in her district.

Representative Rashida Tlaib, another freshman in the House of Representatives, has come out in support of Representative Oman. Representative Tlaib represents Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. The district includes parts of Detroit and surrounding areas. The district is largely Muslim.

So how did Michigan become a Muslim enclave in America?

Michigan radio posted an article in 2014 that explains the Michigan demographic.

There’s a legend in the local Yemeni community that Henry Ford once met a Yemeni sailor at port, and told him about auto factory jobs that paid five dollars a day. The sailor spread the word, leading to chain migration from Yemen and other parts of the Middle East.

We don’t know if that chance encounter ever really happened.  But we do know that in the early days, Ford was more willing to hire Arabs than some other immigrants—or African-Americans.

And they did seem to follow Ford. A new Arab community, one that now included many Muslims sprung up around his first factory in Highland Park. In fact, the first purpose-built mosque in the US was located in Highland Park.

But that community only lasted for a few years.

“As Henry Ford then moved, and opened a new factory, the Rouge plant, in Dearborn, the Arab Americans followed him there,” Stiffler says.

Plenty of Arab Americans worked outside the auto industry, though. As Detroit’s population boomed, so did a need for grocery stores. In the 1920s, Arab Americans ran hundreds of them.

Stiffler says that created an enduring—and visible—commercial legacy.

The two main Representatives that have come out in support of Representative Oman are Representative Tlaib and Representative Ocasio-Cortez. Note that all three are freshmen in Congress and may not yet be aware of some of what goes on behind the scenes. I suspect a lot of Democrat campaign money comes from the Jewish community and Speaker Pelosi may be trying to keep that money coming while keeping younger voters in the Democrat party.

While the Democrats squabble about what to say about anti-Semitism in their party, Representative Oman sits of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. That, at least, needs to change.

The Democrats’ First Proposal Upon Taking Control Of The House Of Representatives

The first bill introduced in the House of Representatives when the Democrats took over was H.R. 1. The bill was sponsored by Representative John P. Sarbanes of Maryland and is called the “For the People Act of 2019.” Great, only it’s really not for the people–it’s for bigger federal government and smaller state governments.

Politifact posted an article on February 8th about the bill.

The article mentions some of the demands the bill would make on states:

• Offer online voter registration;

• Establish automatic voter registration;

• Allow voter registration on the day of a federal election;

• Allow voters to correct their registration information at the polls;

• Restore voting rights to felons after they leave prison;

• Offer at least 15 days of early voting; and,

• Follow new rules before purging voters from registration lists.

The bill also has several measures related to campaign finance or ethics:

• Require super PACs to disclose donors who give more than $10,000;

• Require major online platforms to maintain an online public record of people who buy at least $500 worth of political ads; and

• Use public financing to match small dollar donations to House and presidential candidates.

There are also some other interesting items in the bill listed in a pjmedia article of January 10th:

It forces states to implement mandatory voter registration. If someone is on a government list — such as receiving welfare benefits or rental subsidies — then they would be automatically registered to vote. Few states have enacted these systems because Americans still view civic participation as a voluntary choice.

…H.R. 1 would also force states to have extended periods of early voting, and mandates that early voting sites be near bus or subway routes.

…H.R. 1 also undermines the First Amendment by exerting government control over political speech and undoing the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

The proposal also undoes another Supreme Court decision. In Husted, a case arising out of Ohio, the Court ruled that federal laws — known as “Motor Voter” — do not prohibit states from using a voter’s inactivity from triggering a mailing to that voter to see if they still are living at that location. H.R. 1 would undo that ruling and prohibit states from effectively cleaning voter rolls.

For further information follow the link to the pjmedia article.

Article 1 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

States are given the authority to hold elections. To put the federal government in charge of elections is to open the door for fraud on a large scale. That is exactly what H.R. 1 does.

This Is Important Because It Determines Electoral College Votes And Congressional Seats

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about a decision by US District Judge Dabney Friedrich.

The article reports quotes a CNN article:

US District Judge Dabney Friedrich declined to issue a preliminary injunction requested by a privacy and civil liberties nonprofit group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The group argued that the US Census Bureau was required to complete a privacy impact assessment before Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the addition of the question.

In response, the government acknowledged it is required to update its privacy impact assessments, but must do so before collecting census responses, rather than before deciding what questions would appear.

The court sided with the government, with much of the technical, 20-page decision centered on the question of when the law requires the assessment to be completed. The ruling also suggested the group would have been more persuasive if it had asked the court to require a privacy impact assessment be performed, rather than halt the citizenship question.

“The Bureau did not act contrary to the E-Government Act by deciding to collect citizenship data before conducting, reviewing, or releasing a PIA addressing that decision,” Friedrich wrote.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center said in a statement it “intends to press forward with” its lawsuit.

The lawsuit is in the US District Court for the District of Columbia and is one of at least seven challenging the citizenship question. It is the only one focused primarily on privacy grounds.

Why is this important? The number of members each state has in the House of Representatives is supposed to be determined by the number of Americans living in the state. When illegal immigrants are included in that number, a state will be over represented in Congress and since the number of Congressmen from a state determines the number of votes in the Electoral College, the state will also be over represented there. In other words, the votes of American citizens will be diluted by the votes of non-citizens. Since most illegals seem to congregate in left-leaning states, counting them as citizens gives the Democrats more votes in Congress. That explains why the Democrats are unwilling to secure the borders and why the Democrats oppose a citizenship question on the census.

The following tweet explains the situation very well:

Do The Statements Line Up With The Actions?

Yesterday CNS News posted an article that reported the following:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday reiterated that “Democrats are committed to border security” after President Donald Trump agreed to a deal to re-open the government for three weeks while the White House and Democratic congressional leaders negotiate over Trump’s proposed border wall.

“And we have no complaint,” Pelosi said on Friday.

The article continues:

“We look forward to Congresswoman Roybal-Allard [D.-Calif.] taking the lead in terms of the substance from her standpoint as Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee and commend, again, our Chair of the Appropriations Committee [Nita Lowey (D.-N.Y.] for her leadership on this,” Pelosi said. “They bring knowledge, they bring perspective, they bring the enthusiasm of the consensus of our Caucus to that conference.”

So let’s take a look at Congresswoman Roybal-Allard for a minute. The Center for Security Policy put her on a list of “national security failures” – legislators who scored a total of less than 25%, based on all scored votes for which they were present. The Center’s findings indicate 149 Members of the House of Representatives and 46 Senators are national security failures based on their voting record in the 111th Congress.

It gets better. Opensecrets.org listed the details of the Congresswoman’s campaign contributions:

I am not sure that this is the most qualified person to put on the committee. California has been something of a shining example of the negative impact of unchecked immigration on a state’s finances and quality of life.

Somehow I am not looking forward to rational solutions to the problem at our southern border from the Democrats on the Homeland Security Subcommittee.

H R 1

The Democrats in the House of Representatives are planning to start the new year off with a bang. Hopefully it will turn out to be more of a whimper. H.R. 1 is called the “For the People Act of 2019.” It is actually only for some people who want to make sure that the Democrats win all future elections. It was introduced into the House on January 3rd.

Breitbart posted an article about the bill today. In their article is a link to the Conservative Action Project which is opposing the bill.

The Conservative Action Project lists some problems with the bill:

H.R. 1 undermines the First Amendment. H.R. 1 undoes key Supreme Court cases that protect elections as fundamental to free speech. It would allow the Federal Election Commission to track and catalogue more of what Americans are saying, register even very small political donations, and make public those who donate to different charitable and nonprofit organizations. The legislation will subject private citizens to intimidation and harassment for their private and political beliefs, far broader than what was done in the IRS targeting scandal in 2013.

H.R. 1 yanks election authority away from the states. H.R. 1 reasserts the ability of the federal government to micromanage state elections through a process known as “preclearance.” Preclearance, which was previously overturned by the Supreme Court, requires states to get permission from the federal government for changes as small as modifying the hours of an election office, or moving a voting location from a school gym to the library. Critically, none of these practices would undo any fraud or corruption. Rather, these same practices result in incorrect registrations and inaccurate voter data, while failing to address actual corrupt practices like ballot harvesting. Moreover, they are all designed to eliminate the federalism that keeps elections transparent, local, and fair.

H.R. 1 attacks individual voter integrity. America was founded on the principle of “one person, one vote.” H.R. 1 turns this on its head by weaponizing every aspect of the political regulatory system. The Federal Election Commission, which is currently a neutral body, would be given a 3-2 makeup, guaranteeing a partisan outcome with little accountability toward the actual votes which are cast. H.R. 1 also includes a 600 percent government match for political donations, and authorizes even more public dollars to campaigns. The bill also wants to make Election Day a new paid holiday for government workers, with additional paid vacation given to bureaucrats to oversee the polls. All of these changes are designed to distance the outcome of the election from those casting their votes.

H.R. 1 would also implement the following changes:

• Forces states to implement mandatory voter registration, removing civic participation as a voluntary choice, and increasing chances for error.
• Mandates that states allow all felons to vote.
• Forces states to extend periods of early voting, which has shown to have no effect on turnout.
• Mandates same-day voter registration, which encourages voter fraud.
• Limits the ability of states to cooperate to see who is registered in multiple states at the same time.
• Prohibits election observers from cooperating with election officials to file formal challenges to suspicious voter registrations.
• Criminalizes protected political speech by making it a crime to “discourage” someone from voting
• Bars states from making their own laws about voting by mail.
• Prohibits chief election officials in each state from participating in federal election campaigns.
• Mandates free mailing of absentee ballots.
• Mandates that states adopt new redistricting commissions.

H.R. 1 would cause sweeping and irrevocable damage to the free speech, privacy, and integrity that are central components to free and fair elections in America. We oppose H.R.

Our new House of Representatives has obviously decided to throw out our Constitution wherever possible. This bill is representative of that. It opens the door to massive voter fraud and nationalizes state elections, which is unconstitutional. Nationalizing all elections also greatly increases the vulnerability to hacking. The bill needs to fail miserably or we will be in serious danger of losing our representative republic.

I Don’t Think This Is Helpful

CNN posted an article today with the following headline, “State of the Union will not take place Tuesday, Pelosi aide says.”

The article reports:

President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address will not take place on Tuesday, an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN.

The aide confirmed that the address, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, will not happen — answering a key question about the address’s fate in the wake of the reopening of the federal government.

At a news conference Friday following Trump’s announcement that there was a deal to end the partial government shutdown, Pelosi said, “The State of the Union is not planned now.” The California Democrat added that discussions about the date of the address would take place after the shutdown — the longest in US history — officially ended.

Trump’s director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp said Monday that the White House has been in discussions with Pelosi’s office about rescheduling the address and that “we should have a response soon.”

In order to give an address like the State of the Union to a joint session of Congress, both the House and Senate must pass a resolution allowing it to happen, making Pelosi’s voice an important part of the discussions.

I truly believe that this is a new low in partisan politics. There is no excuse for this. The State of the Union Speech is a tradition and should not be the victim of political pettiness. If this is the attitude the House of Representatives is going to show to the President, he needs to cut to the chase now, declare an emergency on the southern border, build a wall, and tell Ms. Pelosi to go pound sand. I also think Ms. Pelosi is trying to block President Trump from speaking directly to the American people about the need for border security on our southern border. She is definitely out over her skis on this one.

Consequences Of Good Economic Policy

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about The Heritage Foundation’s 25th annual “Index of Economic Freedom.”

The editorial reports:

In just one year, the U.S. climbed six places to 12th worldwide on the Heritage Foundation’s 25th annual “Index of Economic Freedom.” The U.S. index score of 76.8 is the highest since 2011, the report says.

Heritage bases its annual rankings on a dozen different measures of economic freedom, such as tax burden, protection of property rights, tax burden trade policies, labor laws, judicial effectiveness.

…In fact, during Obama’s tenure, the U.S. plunged from 6th place down to 18th on the Heritage freedom rank, in the wake of tax hikes and massive new financial, insurance and environmental regulations.

The editorial explains the importance of these ratings:

Why do these rankings matter? As Heritage explains, there’s a clear correlation between economic freedom and prosperity. The freer an economy is, the more prosperous its people.

Heritage finds that in countries consistently rated “free” or “mostly free,” average incomes are twice that of all other countries, and five times that of “repressed” economies.

The most striking example of the connection between freedom and prosperity is Venezuela. One of the wealthiest countries in South America before socialist dictator Hugo Chávez took control, Venezuela is now racked with hyperinflation, starvation, and political chaos.

But you can see the same impact in the U.S. as well.

The editorial concludes:

And the benefits of this growth are widespread. The unemployment rate was just 3.9% at the end of the year. The job market is so vibrant right now that it’s pulling people off the sidelines to look for work. In fact, the number of people who aren’t in the labor force actually declined last year. That hasn’t happened since 1996 — which was in the middle of the Clinton boom. Wage growth is accelerating, and median household incomes are at record highs.

The freedom index is a powerful reminder that while redistributionist policies — like those currently in favor among Democrats — might be emotionally satisfying, they won’t grow the economy or boost prosperity.

It will be interesting where our rating is next year in view of the fact that the Democrats now control the House of Representatives.

Prepare For A Very Ugly Year In The House Of Representatives

You can tell a lot about what is going on in the House of Representatives by the committee assignments. Based on the assignments being given out now, this is going to be a very ugly year. We have already seen two news stories in the past week that were an indication that facts don’t matter. We are going to see many more of those stories in the near future; and those stories, whether true or false, will be the excuse for the Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump in the House of Representatives. The Democrats would do well to remember what happened to the Republicans after they tried to impeach President Clinton. What the Democrats need in order to avoid paying a heavy penalty for this move is to get President Trump’s approval ratings below 30 percent. They were able to do that with previous Republican presidents, but President Trump keeps fighting back (and the economy is providing jobs for people who might otherwise be disgruntled).

Yesterday Politico posted an article detailing some of the committee assignments that are relevant to the impeachment process.

The article reports:

The House Oversight Committee is adding a group of progressive flamethrowers to its ranks.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) won spots on the high-profile committee on Tuesday, two sources told POLITICO.

…The new members, all of whom are freshmen except Khanna, have been critical of President Donald Trump, and their addition to the committee comes as Democrats have pledged to launch wide-ranging investigations into the president and his administration.

Tlaib drew swift backlash when she vowed to “impeach the motherf—er,” referring to Trump. Republicans have discussed a censure for Tlaib for railing against Trump.

Not only did the Democrats not chastise Representative Tlaib–they rewarded her behavior!

The article continues:

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the Oversight Committee, dismissed concerns about the outspoken freshman lawmakers.

“If I based the choices going on the committee based on what people said or their reputations or whatever, I probably wouldn’t have a committee,” Cummings told POLITICO. “I am excited — there were a lot of people that wanted to come on our committee.”

…Rep. Dan Kildee, a member of the Democratic steering panel, said he was excited about the progressive picks.

“I want people to be aggressive, especially on that committee. It’s good to have people who aren’t afraid,” the Michigan Democrat said in an interview. “They’re going to be dealing with some pretty important stuff.”

The Democrats are continuing their effort to bring down a duly-elected President and totally undermine our representative republic instead of actually passing laws that will continue our strong economic growth. How sad.

Attempting To Move Toward A Solution

One America News Network posted an article today about the latest development in the government shutdown. The Republicans are making a sincere effort to reopen the government. The Democrats will join in that effort when their focus groups tell them they are losing the argument. The bill that will be introduced in the Senate this week includes things that the Democrats have voted for in the past. The difference is that we currently have a President who will actually do these things after they vote for them. In the past when Republicans agreed to Democrat terms and let a deal go through, the terms the Republicans were promised never happened. The unwillingness to give in without funding for the wall on the part of the Republicans is the result of lessons learned in the past.

The article reports:

Senate Republicans are releasing a bill to reopen the government. The legislation relates with the president’s proposal he unveiled in his address Saturday, which calls for $5.7 billion for a physical barrier at the southern border and funding for nine closed government agencies.

It also grants a three-year extension for DACA recipients and those under temporary protective status. A plan to ease the asylum process for Central American migrants is also included.

…Senate Republicans said they plan to vote on the bill this week, however, no Democrats have voiced their support for the legislation.

Meanwhile, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin remains on the fence about the president proposal to end the shutdown despite his initial optimism about the deal. On Monday, a spokesperson for the West Virginia lawmaker said Manchin is waiting to see the final draft of the proposal before making a decision.

This comes after Manchin tweeted on Saturday, saying he was looking forward to working with both sides to make the immigration reforms proposed by President Trump happen. However, Democrat leadership has since slammed the plan as a non-starter.

If this bill is blocked in the Senate or in the House of Representatives by the Democrats, they will have to take responsibility for the continuing shutdown. Their unwillingness to vote for things they have voted for in the past is becoming very obvious.

Is There A Problem?

President Trump made a very generous offer to the Democrats in the House of Representatives today regarding border security on our southern border. Unfortunately it is a pretty safe bet that they will turn down the offer. So exactly what is at stake?

On January 7th Christopher Holton posted an article at The Center For Security Policy about the security threat on our southern border. It is a rather detailed article, and I suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article.

Here are some of the highlights:

For instance in May 2001, former Mexican National security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, reported, that ‘Islamic terrorist groups are using Mexico as a refuge.’

There is no way to estimate how many jihadists may already have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico. But the time to play politics with the border issue is long past. The shallow sloganeering and race-baiting that have dominated the national debate about border controls should be recognized as what they are: hindrances to sane and sensible national defense measures.

…Mexicans trying to enter the U.S. illegally are often simply processed at the border and sent back. But Mexico won’t allow us to send citizens from other countries back through Mexico, and under U.S. law, they’re entitled to a formal deportation hearing. The immigration service lacks beds to hold them, so the vast majority of OTMs are released from custody and asked to voluntarily return for their court date.

For instance, in 2005 alone, there were estimated to be 71,000 such OTM fugitives.

…The intrepid Todd Bensman of the excellent Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has provided the highlights of that report’s findings:

• The recent migrant caravans originating in Central America have included “several SIAs (Special Interest Aliens), and potentially” known or suspected terrorists traveling toward the U.S. border.

• The U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues to prioritize the SIA threat as one of the top threats to the homeland because of the consistently “large number” of individuals from special interest countries that travel to the Western Hemisphere using illicit pathways.

• Written ISIS materials and publications have encouraged ISIS followers to cross the U.S. Southwest Border.

• DHS Border Patrol Agents “routinely” encounter SIAs at the border using routes controlled by transnational criminal organizations.

• Statistics on the number of known or suspected terrorists on routes to the border are often classified, but the threat posed by “the existence of illicit pathways into the United States” highlights that “border security is national security” as terrorist groups seek to exploit vulnerabilities among neighboring countries to fund, support, and commit attacks against the homeland.

• The report lists five open-source, unclassified cases representing the types of individuals and threats associated with illicit routes to the homeland. (CIS recently compiled and published a list of 15.) A number of heavily redacted cases are included in which biometric enrollment information uncovered suspected terrorists in 2013, 2015, and 2018.

• The frequency of international flights from special interest regions into Latin America and the Caribbean continues to increase due to economic and governance challenges in those countries that create an attractive environment for illicit SIA travel to the U.S. border.

• ICE Homeland Security Investigations is deeply enmeshed in investigations and operations throughout Central America to counter human smuggling organizations that move SIAs in Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Brazil.

• The United States-Canada border “is also susceptible to exploitation by SIAs.”

It’s time for the politicians in Washington to stop fooling around and secure the border. The next terrorist attack in America will be on their hands.

President Trump’s Saturday Speech

I watched the President’s speech on Saturday afternoon. I have a few observations. As the President pointed out, the proposals he is offering to the Democrats are things that they have voted for in the past (as is the fence, actually). He is also asking the Senate to introduce a bill on Monday based on his proposals. This is smart–the bill has a reasonable chance of passing in the Senate. If the bill passes in the Senate and fails in the House of Representatives, then the Democrats can be blamed for the shutdown, which is definitely lingering on. It also puts the Democrats in the position of keeping the government shut down by voting against things they have voted for in the past. That is not a good optic for them. Introducing the bill in the Senate first is a win-win for President Trump. There may be information that some Democrats in the House will support the President’s compromise. I don’t know that, but I wonder because of the speech today.

Mitch McConnell posted a press release following the President’s speech that included the following:

“I commend the President for his leadership in proposing this bold solution to reopen the government, secure the border, and take bipartisan steps toward addressing current immigration issues.

“Compromise in divided government means that everyone can’t get everything they want every time. The President’s proposal reflects that. It strikes a fair compromise by incorporating priorities from both sides of the aisle.

“This bill takes a bipartisan approach to re-opening the closed portions of the federal government. It pairs the border security investment that our nation needs with additional immigration measures that both Democrat and Republican members of Congress believe are necessary. Unlike the bills that have come from the House over the past few weeks, this proposal could actually resolve this impasse. It has the full support of the President and could be signed into law to quickly reopen the government.

“Everyone has made their point—now it’s time to make a law. I intend to move to this legislation this week. With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well. The situation for furloughed employees isn’t getting any brighter and the crisis at the border isn’t improved by show votes. But the President’s plan is a path toward addressing both issues quickly.”

Opening the government without fully funding the wall would be a mistake. Congress has proven in the past that they do not always get things done if the pressure is taken away. I can guarantee that if the government is opened before an agreement is reached, the wall will never be built and our border will remain unsecured.

Watch Out For The Bright, Shiny Object

Rightwinggranny is a little more than ten years old. I have learned a few things along the way. One of those things is that when the media is screaming headlines in unison, there is probably something going on behind the scenes that I need to be aware of. This article is an example of that.

On January 16th, Breitbart reported that New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be serving on the House Financial Services Committee. The Committee is led by Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez has made some remarks that indicate she may not totally understand exactly how America’s Representative Republic works, but that’s okay–she still got elected. So let’s look at who supported her election. Opensecrets.org is a website that tracks political campaign donations, The link I highlighted leads to information on the funding of Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign for the House of Representatives. There is nothing illegal here, but it is always interesting to see where a candidate gets their funding.

The campaign funding information on Representative Ocasio-Cortez shows that during her primary campaign, two-thirds of the donations came from small donors. She may not fully understand how our government works, but she did a very good job or organizing a campaign. Eighty-eight percent of the large donations to her campaign (over $200) came from outside her district. From the time she won the primary election until the end of June, she received $70,000 from out-of-state donors. How does a newcomer to politics build that kind of a political machine? Who were the people who helped her organize her campaign? I don’t have answers to those questions.

So why is it significant that Representative Ocasio-Cortez has been appointed to the House Financial Services Committee? That is the committee that oversees big banking, lending, and the financial sector. Representative Ocasio-Cortez has already expressed an interest in looking into the student loan crisis (a crisis created when the government took over student loans). It is quite possible that the committee will attempt to undo the deregulation President Trump has done that has led to the economic growth we are experiencing. Hopefully the Senate can protect our booming economy.

The other significant appointment you might not have heard about is the appointment of Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (You can read more about Ilhan Omar at Power Line Blog.) 

Breitbart posted an article about the appointment yesterday.

The article reports:

Omar supports the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which has been called antisemitic because it singles out the Jewish state for isolation and ignores the Palestinian side.

…House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) issued a statement in which he reminded Pelosi that she said Congress “must” oppose BDS, and that Schumer had called BDS “anti-Semitism.”

“I would love to know what changed, because Democratic leaders just promoted a pro-BDS Democrat to a key committee that deals with the State of Israel.”

McCarthy continued: “Anti-Semitism has no place in Congress and certainly not on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) blasted Pelosi for appointing Omar to the committee, saying she had a “documented history of making anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks.”

He added: “House Democrats have now just endorsed that ideology.”

This appointment may simply be a reflection of the ongoing battle between Nancy Pelosi and President Trump as to who is going to lead the country. However, both of these appointments represent a very severe left turn on the part of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. It remains to be seen if Americans will support this extreme left turn.

Who Has The Transcript? Who Is Leaking The Transcript? Why Is It Being Leaked?

Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner today about James Baker’s two interviews with House of Representatives investigators last October. The article notes that Republican Rep. Mark Meadows called parts of Baker’s testimony “explosive.”

The article reports:

Republicans intended to make the interview transcripts public. The questioning was not conducted in a classified setting, and Baker had FBI and other lawyers with him the whole time. But the House still had to send the transcripts to the FBI for clearance, just to make sure public release would not reveal any classified or otherwise secret information.

If Republicans hoped for a quick OK from the bureau, they were sorely disappointed. October passed. Then November. Then December. And now, half of January. The FBI still has the transcripts, and there is no word on when the bureau will clear them for release.

Even though the transcripts have not been released, they are in the news.

The article explains:

Two major news stories in the past few days have been based in whole or in part on what Baker told lawmakers. Some news organizations appear to have read the transcripts, or at least significant portions of them, or had them read to reporters by someone with access. Suddenly, the Baker transcripts are hot.

Again, the FBI still has the transcripts and is not yet saying when they will be cleared for release.

It seems as if both The New York Times and CNN have reported on information in the transcripts (along with comments by Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows):

The Baker excerpt, revealing the criminal investigation, is a new and important part of the story of the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation. Release of the full transcripts could shed new light on the FBI’s use of the Trump dossier in the Russia probe. But they remain secret — and it is the FBI that has the final word on whether and when to allow the release of information that is unflattering to the FBI.

The second big story that came in part from the Baker transcript was the New York Times piece last Friday headlined, “FBI Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia.”

The story caused intense excitement in anti-Trump circles. “Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security,” the Times reported. “Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”

In the piece, the bureau’s reasoning was explained by references to … the secret Baker transcripts. The paper said Baker told lawmakers that the FBI viewed President Trump’s firing of Director James Comey as a national security issue. “Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security,” Baker said in the still-secret testimony, according to the Times. The paper said portions of the testimony “were read to The New York Times.”

Not long after, CNN published an article, “Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was ‘following directions’ of Russia.” CNN quoted significant portions of the Baker transcripts, in which Baker said the FBI wanted to know if Trump “was acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing [Russia’s] will.”

It’s time for the FBI to stop playing games and release the transcripts. If there are rogue elements of the FBI that will be revealed in these transcripts, so be it. It is time that we cleaned up our justice system and brought back transparency and equal justice under the law.

 

But It Sounds So Wonderful

Sometimes I wonder if anyone in Congress has actually read the U.S. Constitution.

Shmoop states:

Clause 1. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Constitution generally leaves it up to the states to organize congressional elections, but gives Congress the power to set new rules for federal elections as it sees fit. In 1842, Congress passed an important law requiring single-member district elections in every state, standardizing congressional election practices nationwide. The same law set one standard Election Day—the Tuesday after the first Monday in November—throughout the country. We still use the same Election Day today.

On Thursday PJ Media reported that one of the top legislative priorities of the new House of Representatives is the passage of H.R. 1.

The official name of the bill is:

H.R.1 – To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes.

If only that were what the bill is actually about.

These are some of the provisions of H.R.1 listed in the article:

It forces states to implement mandatory voter registration. If someone is on a government list — such as receiving welfare benefits or rental subsidies — then they would be automatically registered to vote. Few states have enacted these systems because Americans still view civic participation as a voluntary choice. Moreover, aggregated government lists always contain duplicates and errors that states, even without mandatory voter registration, frequently fail to catch and fix.

H.R. 1 also mandates that states allow all felons to vote. Currently, states have the power under the Constitution to set the terms of eligibility in each state. Some states, like Maine, have decided that voting machines should be rolled into the prisons. Other states, like Nevada, have chosen to make a felony a disenfranchising event.

…H.R. 1 would also force states to have extended periods of early voting, and mandates that early voting sites be near bus or subway routes. While purportedly designed to increase participation, early voting has been shown to have no effect on turnout.

…H.R. 1 also undermines the First Amendment by exerting government control over political speech and undoing the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

The proposal also undoes another Supreme Court decision. In Husted, a case arising out of Ohio, the Court ruled that federal laws — known as “Motor Voter” — do not prohibit states from using a voter’s inactivity from triggering a mailing to that voter to see if they still are living at that location. H.R. 1 would undo that ruling and prohibit states from effectively cleaning voter rolls.

You get the picture. Please follow the link to read the entire article. Aside from the fact that most of H.R. 1 in unconstitutional, it is a naked power grab by the new House of Representatives. It needs to be stopped cold.

Killing A Growing Economy One Law At A Time

On January 4th, Investor’s Business Daily reported:

Since President Donald Trump took office nearly two years ago, some 4.8 million new payroll jobs have been created. That’s more than four times as many as created during President Obama’s first four years.

Hold on, you say, didn’t the unemployment rate jump from 3.7% to 3.9%? It did. Yes, but not because more people were unemployed, but because more people entered the labor force, seeking opportunities that didn’t exist before.

It’s actually a bullish sign. Some 419,000 people entered the workforce during the month, driving the labor force participation rate to 63.1%, up from 62.7% a year ago. That bellwether employment figure declined pretty consistently during the job-poor Obama years, from 65.7% when Obama entered office to 62.9% when he left. It stabilized under Trump. Last month’s 63.1% tied for the highest point since September 2013.

This rapidly improving economy is the result of President Trump’s deregulation and tax cuts. Cutting the corporate taxes and regulations resulted in manufacturing jobs returning to America (after President Obama told us they were never coming back). So why is the Democrat House of Representatives trying to undo this progress?

The Hill reported yesterday:

Rep. John Yarmuth, the new House Budget chairman, said his chamber’s budget blueprint will aim to claw back lost revenue by boosting the corporate tax rate from its current 21 percent to as high as 28 percent, with rate increases also possible for high-earning individuals.

The Kentucky Democrat said Friday he wants to mark up a fiscal 2020 budget resolution, which will outline his party’s vision for taxes and spending over the next decade, in time to reach the House floor in early April. Yarmuth said Democratic leaders have told him they want to be ready so they can set the procedural stage for passage of all 12 appropriations bills before the August recess.

Are they simply economically badly informed or is there another motive? Well first I would like to mention my favorite Milton Friedman quote, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.” I think there are two forces at work here–first of all the Democrats love taxes. They believe that the more of everyone else’s money they have to spend, the more powerful they are. Second of all, Democrats with brains realize that increasing taxes will slow economic growth. Slowing the Trump economy is the only chance the Democrats have of taking the presidency in 2020. That is the plan. Hopefully the Senate will not pass the House of Representative’s budget plans. They will be harmful to average Americans. President Trump has helped average Americans economically. President Obama helped Wall Street but ignored Main Street. The House Democrats seem determined to go back to that model which ignored average Americans.

More Shark Jumping In The House Of Representatives

While our southern border remains porous, the new majority of House Democrats is busy. On January 3rd, The Hill reported that Representative Julia Brownley of California has introduced a bill to rewrite federal laws with gender-neutral terms, codifying the progressive ideological tenet that distinctions between men and women are exclusionary.

The article reports:

The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, but LGBT rights advocates say discrimination against same-sex couples still persists.

Lambda Legal, a civil rights group, has filed two lawsuits in the past year challenging the Social Security Administration’s requirement that couples be married for at least nine months to qualify for survivor’s benefits.

Brownley introduced a similar bill in the previous Congress, and before that the bill was championed by former Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.). The measure failed to make it out of committee.

Brownley said the new legislation will “recognize and re-affirm that all Americans have the right to marry the person they love, to ensure no one is denied federal benefits and protections because of who they love, and more broadly to make sure that same sex couples are treated equally under the law in all respects.”

If the law requires that all couples must be married for at least nine months to collect survivor’s benefits, how is that discriminatory? I think this proposed law is another example of the children’s book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.

 

Speaker Pelosi Has Jumped The Shark

CNS News posted an article today about a bill proposed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In an effort to continue to harass the President, Speaker Pelosi has introduced legislation that would require all candidates for president and vice-president to release their tax returns. There would be no requirement for candidates for Congress to release their tax returns.

The article reports:

The provision is part of H.R. 1—the “For the People Act”—which Pelosi introduced Friday.

A summary of the bill says that it includes a section titled “Presidential Tax Transparency.” This section, says the summary: “Requires sitting presidents and vice presidents, as well as candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, to release their tax returns.”

In 2017, when members of Congress were calling on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, Roll Call asked all 535 members of the House and Senate to release theirs. As Roll Call reported at the time, 6 members did release their tax returns as requested by the publication. Another 6 had already released theirs elsewhere. Another 45 members, Roll Call reported, had previously and partially released their tax returns. But 473 members had not released their tax returns and did not respond to Roll Call’s request that they do so.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi was one of the members, Roll Call reported, who had not released her tax returns.

At an April 2017 press briefing promoting similar legislation that would have required the president—but not members of Congress—to release their tax returns, Pelosi said that president’s do not have a “right to privacy” when it comes to their tax returns.

I don’t mean to be picky here, but if Congress is willing to pass a law that states that candidates for president and vice-president have to release their tax returns, then Congress should have to release theirs.

I have a feeling that for the next two years the House of Representatives is going to spend more time working on laws to make life difficult for President Trump than it is making laws that will be helpful to Americans. That is truly sad.

The Show Has Begun

We are going to need a lot of popcorn to watch the show in Congress for the next two years.

Taken from an article at The Gateway Pundit posted today:

In the last 24 hours since taking control of the House of Representatives, Democrats have:

** Introduced articles of impeachment
** Called for the impeachment of “mother f*cker” Trump
** Scratched Israel off the map and replaced with Palestine
** Called for a 60%-70% tax rate
** Refused to fund a border security wall
** Worked one day and went on break until Tuesday

It gets even better:

Open Democrat-Socialist Rep. Alexandria “Sandy” Ocasio-Cortez called for a 60%-70% tax rate on Friday.

That was quick.

Ocasio-Cortez: “But once you get to the tippie tops, on your $10 millionth, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60% or 70%. That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate. But it means that as you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more… I think radicals changed this country. Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclomation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to establish programs like social security. ”

Hold on to your wallet, there has been a change in Washington.

 

How Does This Statement Make Sense?

Yesterday I posted an article that included the following:

…Newly-elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) also endorsed impeaching Trump on her first day in office, according to The Nation, which described Tlaib as calling for “immediate steps” to remove the president from the White House.

“Each passing day brings more pain for the people most directly hurt by this president, and these are days we simply cannot get back. The time for impeachment proceedings is now,” Rep. Tlaib declared.

I really am confused about how this president is hurting people. I am further confused by looking at Representative Tlaib’s statement in view of some economic news that was reported today.

For instance, CNN is reporting today:

US employers added 312,000 jobs in December, well above what economists expected and underlining that the American economy remains strong despite recent market turbulence.

The unemployment rate rose to 3.9% as more people were looking for work. It had been at a 50-year low of 3.7% for two of the last three months.

Employers added 2.6 million jobs in 2018, compared to 2.2 million in 2017. Revisions to the October and November estimates added an additional 58,000 jobs to the 2018 total.

…Paychecks grew as employers raised wages to attract new workers. Average hourly pay was up 3.2% compared to a year earlier. The average number of hours people worked also edged up.

…The unemployment rate rose because more than 400,000 people joined the labor force looking for jobs. The percentage of the working-age people in the work force matched a five-year high.

“Yes, the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, but for the best of reasons,” said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com senior economic analyst. “That’s a deal we’ll take if more people are participating in the workforce.”

The chart that I watch to see how things are going is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is the chart of the Workforce Participation Rate. It indicates how many Americans are actually part of the workforce. This is the chart:

Note that we have reached the 63.1 percent participation rate only three times since 2014. When President Obama took office, the rate was 66.2. By the time President Obama left office, the rate was 62.7. That was after the federal deficit doubled due to the stimulus package that was supposed to create jobs.

The House of Representatives has a choice–they can either join in the efforts of President Trump to improve the American economy and the lives of American workers, or they can do everything they can to slow it down. Unfortunately, the new rules they are putting in place will bring us laws and policies that will slow the economy down. That is unfortunate–Americans deserve better, even though they elected these people.

When Congress Fails To Do Its Job, The Executive Branch Has To Do It

The Washington Times posted an article today about the Farm Bill that was recently passed. The House of Representatives added a more stringent work requirement to the Food Stamps Program, but the Senate eliminated the requirement. Thus the Farm Bill as it currently stands puts a 20-hour-per-week work requirement only on people between the ages of 18 and 49 who receive food stamps.

The article reports:

President Trump moved Thursday to tighten work requirements for people who receive food stamps, after Congress failed to include the proposal in a $400 billion farm bill that’s headed to the president’s desk.

The Agriculture Department said it is proposing a rule on Mr. Trump’s orders that would move “more able-bodied recipients” of food stamps back into working at least 20 hours per week.

“Long-term reliance on government assistance has never been part of the American dream,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “As we make benefits available to those who truly need them, we must also encourage participants to take proactive steps toward self-sufficiency. Moving people to work is common-sense policy, particularly at a time when the unemployment rate is at a generational low.”

…Currently, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without children are required to work 20 hours a week to keep their food-stamp benefits. The House measure would have raised the age of recipients subject to work requirements from 49 to 59 and required parents with children older than 6 to work or participate in job training.

The Labor Force Participation Rate currently stands at 52.9 percent. The Unemployment Rate currently stands at 3.7 percent. Wages at all levels have risen under President Trump. Inflation for 2018 is slightly over 2 percent. There is no reason anyone collecting food stamps cannot find a place to work for 20 hours a week or enter a job-training program that will help them find a job that pays enough for them to get off of food stamps. The Agriculture Department is doing the right thing in looking into strengthening the work requirements to collect food stamps.