The Economy Under President Trump

I am not an economist, but I have learned over the years to listen to the people with the best track records on analysis. One of those people is Stephen Moore, who posted an article at The Wall Street Journal yesterday.

The article reports:

Liberals are tripping over themselves to explain why the economy has performed so much better under Donald Trump than it did under Barack Obama. The economy has grown by nearly 4% over the past six months, and the final number for 2018 is expected to come in at between 3% and 3.5%. The U.S. growth rate has doubled since Mr. Obama’s last year in office.

When Mr. Trump was elected, many Democratic pundits predicted an economic and stock-market meltdown. Then the economy started surging and they abruptly changed their tune, arguing that Mr. Trump was simply riding a global growth wave. That narrative was shattered when U.S. growth kept steaming ahead even as global growth—especially in China and Germany—stalled.

The people who predicted an economic crash if President Trump was elected are now saying that the tax cuts have given us a ‘sugar high’, and the market will crash when the sugar wears off. That makes about as much sense as President Obama taking credit for the move toward American energy independence.

The article continues:

The real contradiction in the “sugar high” argument is that it ignores the slow growth of the Obama years, which featured an avalanche of debt spending. Deficits as a share of GDP were 9.8% in 2009, 8.6% in 2010, 8.3% in 2011 and 6.7% in 2012. Where was the sugar high then? Instead of the expected burst in output coming out of the 2008-09 recession, borrowing more than $1 trillion a year for four years yielded the worst recovery since the Great Depression. Even excluding 2009, Mr. Obama’s deficits averaged more than 5% of GDP throughout the rest of his presidency but produced less growth than Mr. Trump has with lower deficits.

This wasn’t what Keynesians expected. Mr. Obama’s economic team predicted 4% growth every year coming out of the recession. Instead the “sugar high” from record peacetime deficits produced measly 2% growth. By 2016 GDP was running about $2 trillion below the trend line of a normal recovery.

The fastest growth rate over the past three decades was recorded in Bill Clinton’s second term, when federal government spending fell from 21.5% to 18% of GDP and deficits disappeared into surpluses. So much for the idea that deficit spending is a stimulant.

Mr. Trump’s fiscal policies have produced more growth than Mr. Obama’s because they were designed to incentivize businesses to invest, hire and produce more here at home. The Obama “stimulus,” by contrast, went for food stamps, unemployment benefits, ObamaCare subsidies, “cash for clunkers” and failed green energy handouts.

The article concludes:

Those pushing the “sugar high” fallacy also don’t realize that the Trump tax cuts aren’t going away soon. The 2017 business tax cuts can’t cause a recession in 2019 or 2020 because they don’t expire until 2025. They aren’t sugar pills.

The biggest threats to the economic boom and financial markets today are a deflationary Federal Reserve and the specter of a global trade war. Solve those problems and the American economy can keep flying high on its own power. And Mr. Trump’s critics will be proved wrong again.

When you decrease taxes and regulations on businesses, we all gain. That combination, if allowed to continue, will bring us continued economic growth.

Good Economic News

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that the third quarter GDP was 3.5 percent.

The article reports:

The US GDP for the third quarter was reported at a whopping 3.5% under the leadership of President Donald Trump. This was another BIG Trump win which doubles the first quarter growth of 2.2%. 

President Obama never reached an annual GDP Growth rate of more than 3.0%.  No President over the past century had not ever been held to GDP growth rates of less than 3.0% until Obama.

The article includes the following chart:

Note the large increase in GDP ratio to debt between 2007 and 2009. The way to bring that ratio back down is to grow the economy. It will be a slow process, but it can be done.

One thing to keep in mind when looking at the above numbers is what would have happened had Hillary Clinton been elected in 2016. The policies of President Obama would have continued–slow economic growth, high unemployment, increased dependency on food stamps, etc. One political theory that is embraced by some in the political left is Cloward Piven.

The Cloward-Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty”.

I believe that the outcome of the Cloward-Piven theory was the goal of the economic policies of President Obama and expected President Hillary Clinton. We have temporarily dodged that bullet, but we need to remember that there are powerful Americans working toward that end.

 

Sometimes The Facts Just Don’t Agree With The Spin

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial yesterday about some assertions made by former President Obama in a recent speech.

The editorial notes:

In a speech at a rally in Nevada, Obama claimed that the current economic boom has nothing to do with Trump’s economic policies.

“By the time I left office,” he said, “wages were rising, uninsurance rate was falling, poverty was falling. And that’s what I handed off to the next guy. So when you hear all this talk about economic miracles right now, remember who started it.”

Well, who did start it?

The editorial explains:

GDP growth was decelerating throughout 2016. Household income was flat. The unemployment rate was flat. The stock market was flat.

And, “by 2016, wage growth began to taper off quickly,” notes the American Action Forum’s Ben Gitis.

Even The New York Times, which has been gamely trying to grant Obama credit for the current boom, now admits that 2016 was an “invisible recession.”

“There was a sharp slowdown in business investment, caused by an interrelated weakening in emerging markets, a drop in the price of oil and other commodities, and a run-up in the value of the dollar,” it explained.

Slow Growth Expected

By the end of 2016, pundits and economists were widely predicting a new era of slow economic growth. Why? Because for eight years under President Obama’s leadership, the economy struggled to even top 2% annual growth. It never reached 3%. And every single year GDP growth missed the forecasts by Obama’s own economists.

So for Obama to claim that he handed Trump a thriving economy is 100% pure poppycock.

What’s more, Obama and other liberal Democrats insisted in 2016 that if Trump were elected, he’d send the economy into a tailspin.

There is a definite difference between words and results. Former President Obama can claim all the economic success he wants, but the numbers simply do not back him up.

The Consequences Of Not Understanding Economics

I am not an authority on economics. I am, however, a person who watches what goes on around me and sometimes learns lessons from what I see. Some economic principles are obvious enough to be learned that way.

In 2013, Forbes Magazine posted an article quoting a statement by then-President Obama on the subject of economic freedom. Economic freedom was not something President Obama believed in. President Obama acted on his belief that economic freedom was not a good thing, and the American economy suffered during his presidency.

The article quotes a speech President Obama gave in Kansas:

there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes–especially for the wealthy–our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.

Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ’50s and ’60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.

Well, have we tried this theory? A little history is in order here.

The article reminds us:

I pick 100 years deliberately, because it was exactly 100 years ago that a gigantic anti-capitalist measure was put into effect: the Federal Reserve System. For 100 years, government, not the free market, has controlled money and banking. How’s that worked out? How’s the value of the dollar held up since 1913? Is it worth one-fiftieth of its value then or only one one-hundredth? You be the judge. How did the dollar hold up over the 100 years before this government take-over of money and banking? It actually gained slightly in value.

Laissez-faire hasn’t existed since the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. That was the first of a plethora of government crimes against the free market.

…Obama absurdly suggests that timid, half-hearted, compromisers, like George W. Bush, installed laissez-faire capitalism–on the grounds that they tinkered with one or two regulations (Glass-Steagall) and marginal tax rates–while blanking out the fact that under the Bush administration, government spending ballooned, growing much faster than under Clinton, and 50,000 new regulations were added to the Federal Register.

The philosophy of individualism and the politics of laissez-faire would mean government spending of about one-tenth its present level. It would also mean an end to all regulatory agencies: no SEC, FDA, NLRB, FAA, OSHA, EPA, FTC, ATF, CFTC, FHA, FCC–to name just some of the better known of the 430 agencies listed in the federal register.

Even you, dear reader, are probably wondering how on earth anyone could challenge things like Social Security, government schools, and the FDA. But that’s not the point. The point is: these statist, anti-capitalist programs exist and have existed for about a century. The point is: Obama is pretending that the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society were repealed, so that he can blame the financial crisis on capitalism. He’s pretending that George Bush was George Washington.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It accidentally explains the reasons the economy has prospered under President Trump. I also strongly recommend reading The Creature From Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin for the story behind the creation of the Federal Reserve System.

 

 

An Attempt To Bork Kavanaugh

Robert Bork would have made a fantastic Supreme Court judge. He was brilliant and understood the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately he was blocked from being a Supreme Court Justice because of the antics of that bastion of virtue Ted Kennedy. A similar tactic was tried on Justice Thomas, but it didn’t work. Justice Thomas, thankfully, sits on the Supreme Court. Now the attempt is being make to prevent Judge Kavanaugh from being confirmed. It is an ugly attempt, and hopefully it will fail.

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday detailing the problems with the Democrats’ case against Judge Kavanaugh. Diane Feinstein has come up with a letter charging Judge Kavanaugh with inappropriate behavior when he was in high school. In the article, Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal listed the problems with the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh:

Strassel began by pointing out reports from the New York Times that suggested Feinstein had at least been aware of the letter’s existence since summer — and argued that if the accusation was truly damning enough to warrant an FBI investigation, it would have been reason enough for Feinstein to present it to authorities immediately.

…Strassel went on to question whether a letter concerning enough to warrant a federal investigation should have been shared with Senate Republicans, who, just like their Democratic counterparts, were charged to “advise and consent” with regard to Kavanaugh’s nomination. Additionally, she suggested that if the accuser had explicitly stated a request to not take things further, Feinstein could be betraying that trust by going to the FBI.

…Finally, Strassel argued that the timing of the letter’s introduction into public discourse “cannot be ignored” — it was made public only after Senate Democrats made numerous attempts to stall or delay Kavanaugh’s hearings, all of which were shut down.

Approval of nominees is supposed to be based on the qualifications of the nominee. Unfortunately in recent years, it has become extremely political. I firmly believe that barring unusual circumstances, a President is entitled to appoint the people he chooses. That courtesy was extended to President Obama, who appointed Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. The appointment of Merrick Garland was blocked according to the ‘Biden Rule’ put in place under George W. Bush. The Democrats invented the ‘Biden Rule’ to block an appointment by President Bush. It is only fair that they got hoisted on their own petard.

I believe that the Democrats need to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. Their stall tactics are only creating bad feelings that will come back to bite them in the future.

 

About That Recovery

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article illustrating the timeline of the economic growth our country is currently experiencing. The article deals with the recent claims by former President Obama that he is responsible for the current economic growth and that the growth began under his leadership. In February 2018 The Washington Times reminded us that Obama Democrats told us that what looked like long-term stagnation under President Obama’s economic policies, with growth stuck at 2 percent on average for his whole eight years in office, was the New Normal that the American people were going to have to get used to, the best we could do now.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Milton Friedman was the first economist to notice a pattern in American economic history: The deeper the recession, the stronger the recovery. The economy has to grow even faster than normal for a while to catch up to where it would have been without the recession. The fundamentals of America’s world-leading economy are so strong that the pattern held throughout the country’s history.

Until the past decade. The 2008-09 recession was so bad, the economy should have come roaring back with a booming recovery—even stronger than Reagan’s boom in the 1980s. But Mr. Obama carefully, studiously pursued the opposite of every pro-growth policy Reagan had followed. What he got was the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression.

Before Mr. Obama, in the 11 previous recessions since the Depression, the economy recovered all jobs lost during the recession an average of 27 months after the recession began. In Mr. Obama’s recovery, dating from the summer of 2009, the recession’s job losses were not recovered until after 76 months—more than six years.

The article concludes:

Obama apologists argued America could no longer grow any faster than Mr. Obama’s 2% real growth averaged over eight years. Slow growth was the “new normal.” The American Dream was over. Get used to it. Hillary Clinton promised to continue Mr. Obama’s economic policies. America’s blue-collar voters rose up.

The recovery took off on Election Day 2016, as the stock market communicated. Mr. Trump’s tax cuts and sweeping deregulation—especially regarding energy—fundamentally changed course from Mr. Obama. These policies have driven today’s boom, increasing annual growth to more than 3% within six months and now to over 4%.

Will Democrats ever figure out what policies create jobs, economic growth and rising wages? If not, they’ll wake up some Wednesday morning to find they have been routed in a fundamental realignment election, in which they have permanently lost the blue-collar vote—once the backbone of their party.

The truth is in the numbers. All of us need to be aware that what former Presidents say about today’s economic growth may not be true. Economic policies make a difference, and President Trump has illustrated that.

Breaking The Rules To Save Your Own Skin

We are about a month away from early voting in the mid-term elections and about two months out from the actual election. Generally speaking the party of the President loses Congressional seats in the first mid-term elections of his presidency. That is generally because people are disappointed that he has failed to keep his campaign promises. That rule may or may not apply to President Trump–it seems as if a lot of rules don’t apply.

Some of the things the Democrats would do if they were to take over Congress would include:

  1. Ending the tax cuts for both individuals and corporations (this would promptly end the economic growth we have seen in the past year or so)
  2. Ending any investigation into the misuse of the Justice Department to spy on political opponents during and after the 2016 election
  3. Ending any investigations that may be going on into Uranium One or the Clinton Foundation
  4. Starting extensive investigations into President Trump with the aim of impeaching him
  5. Reinstating many of the regulations that prevented the economy from growing in the past
  6. Opening the borders and eliminating ICE
  7. Reinstating the original rules of ObamaCare (which would drastically increase the cost of health insurance for everyone) and reinstating the individual mandate

Some of the things the Republicans would do if they were to take over Congress:

  1. Complete Mueller’s investigation and finish the investigations into possible illegal spying by government agencies during the 2016 presidential campaign
  2. Make the tax cuts permanent (businesses don’t like uncertainty, until the tax cuts are made permanent there is some degree of uncertainty)
  3. Move further toward energy independence
  4. Seal the border
  5. Revise immigration policies so that people come here to assimilate and contribute to America–not just take advantage of our welfare programs.
  6. Clean out the swamp that is Washington, D.C.

With that in mind, I would like to post an excerpt from an article posted at The Conservative Treehouse today:

Many media outlets are now carrying the former Presidents’ daily speeches live during their broadcasts. There is a visible sense of panic amid the far-left apparatchik.

One thing stands as abundantly clear, the former president is afraid – very afraid.

Former President Obama is acting like a man who knows there is a strong likelihood a win for President Trump in the mid-terms means all of the corruption discovered during Obama’s administration will surface.   When campaigning today Obama says: “things can get worse“, he’s right.  Things likely will get much, much worse…. FOR HIM.

If President Trump can keep control or gain seats within the House of Representatives; and simultaneously build on the republican majority within the senate; there’s a horizon filled with consequences for President Obama, democrat politicians, and former administration officials who weaponized government to retain power.

Everything is being controlled, scripted and planned. On the surface it might seem like President Obama is violating every polite political custom in an effort to win seats in the mid-term election; however, below the surface the real motive is to save himself.

There were some serious shenanigans that went on during the Obama administration–the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, Uranium One, Hillary’s server–just to name a few. If the Democrats fail to take control of Congress this year, it is quite possible that these scandals will be dealt with and the people responsible will be held accountable. There is a fairly substantial group of people in Washington that does not want that to happen. That is the reason the former President is running around the nation saying dumb things.

Don’t Let The Truth Get In The Way Of A Good Political Attack

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a recent article posted in The Washington Post. The Washington Post article dealt with a government policy choosing not to renew the passports of people born near the border, as they are skeptical that those people were actually born in the country.

The Daily Caller reports:

…It’s not until the ninth paragraph that the article begins to address that the policy began under the Bush administration and continued under Obama.

The article was titled, “U.S. is denying passports to Americans along the border, throwing their citizenship into question” and was written by Kevin Sieff.

The article addressed the problems faced by “a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports.”

The fourth paragraph referenced President Trump, saying, “The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown.”

The Daily Caller article concludes:

But five paragraphs later, the article clarifies, “The State Department during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations denied passports to people who were delivered by midwives in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley.”

So in spite of the fact that this informal policy began under previous administrations, the article first connects it to President Donald Trump.

If you are a never-Trumper reading this blog (I assume that occasionally happens), this is the kind of reporting that may have shaped your view of President Trump. In this instance, he is simply carrying out the policies of the prior two administrations, but is held responsible for the policy. I suspect that somewhere in The Washington Post article is a quiet accusation that President Trump is racist for carrying out this policy. Well then, what about President Bush and President Obama? Were they racists too?

I would just like to note at this point that during his second term, President George W. Bush was so beaten down by the press that he didn’t stand up to anyone. Because of that, very little was accomplished during his second term. Hopefully, the fact that President Trump seems to be able to ignore the relentless attacks from the media and the political establishment will allow him to accomplish the things that need to be accomplished to bring America back to its economic strength and leadership role in the world.

The Double Standard Is Alive And Well In The Media

Newsbusters posted an article yesterday that illustrates that media bias is not anything new.

The article reports:

It’s always big news when a former associate of a President goes on trial, right? Well actually no.

When Bill Clinton’s Whitewater business partners Jim and Susan McDougal and the former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker were tried (and convicted) for conspiracy and fraud charges the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening news programs devoted (on average) just 36 seconds per night (March 3, 1996 – May 29, 1996) to the trial. This despite the fact that the then-sitting President offered video testimony during the court proceedings.   

In contrast, the trial of Donald Trump’s one-time campaign manager Paul Manafort – for charges in a tax fraud case that had nothing to do with President Trump or alleged Russian collusion –  averaged 2 minutes and 18 seconds per night (July 31 – August 21) on those same evening programs. This was at a rate almost 4x higher than network coverage of the 1996 trial. 

…In total ABC, CBS and NBC spent 51 minutes and 28 seconds in 87 days on the trial of Clinton’s business partners.

In contrast, ABC, CBS and NBC almost reached that total (50 minutes, 30 seconds) in just 22 days of coverage of the Manafort trial.

Let’s not forget the lack of reporting on President Obama’s close association with Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, and Bernadette Dorn.

The thing to remember in dealing with the 24/7 coverage of anything detrimental to President Trump is that the heyday of the power of the American press was Watergate–when they drove President Nixon from office. The would love to repeat that performance. For whatever reason, the mainstream press is unaware that attempting to drive a duly-elected President from power does not help the republic.

Despite What The Mainstream Media Says…

Stephen Moore posted an article at Real Clear Politics today about global pollution. Remember all the hysteria when America didn’t sign the Kyoto Treat and didn’t institute a cap-and-trade carbon tax? Well, evidently Americans cared enough about keeping the air clean to reduce carbon dioxide emission on their own.

The article reports:

Yet the latest world climate report from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy finds that in 2017, America reduced its carbon emissions by 0.5 percent, the most of all major countries. That’s especially impressive given that our economy grew by nearly 3 percent — so we had more growth and less pollution — the best of all worlds. The major reason for the reduced pollution levels is the shale oil and gas revolution that is transitioning the world to cheap and clean natural gas for electric power generation.

Meanwhile, as our emissions fell, the pollution levels rose internationally and by a larger amount than in previous years. So much for the rest of the world going green.

The world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide emissions is China. According to the invaluable Institute for Energy Research, “China produces 28 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. India is the world’s third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide and had the second-largest increment (93 million metric tons) of carbon dioxide emissions in 2017, more than twice as much an increase as the U.S. reduction.” This means it doesn’t really matter how much America reduces its greenhouse gases because China and India cancel out any and all progress we make. Those who think they are helping save the planet by purchasing an electric car or putting a solar panel on their roof are barking up the wrong tree. There is no way to make progress on greenhouse gases without China and India on board — which they clearly are not.

It is basically ironic that China and India, both countries that signed the Kyoto Treaty, have increased their carbon dioxide to the point where they are cancelling out the gains made by America.

The article concludes:

So there you have it. The countries in the Paris climate accord have broken almost every promise they’ve made and the nation (the U.S.) that hasn’t signed the treaty is doing more than any other nation to reduce global warming. Yet, we are being lectured by the sanctimonious Europeans and Asians for not doing our fair share to save the planet. It’s another case study in how the left cares far more about good intentions than actual results. What matters is that you say that you will wash the dishes, not that you actually do it.

Unfortunately the war on carbon has never been about making the earth a cleaner place–it has always been about money. The Chicago Climate Exchange was set up in 2003 so that powerful Democrats could make a ton of money once cap-and-trade legislation was passed in America. It closed in 2010 when the legislation was not passed, and those Democrats lost their investment. Its two biggest investors were Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and Goldman Sachs–and President Obama, who helped launch CCX with funding from the Joyce Foundation, where he and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett once sat on the board of directors. Had cap and trade gotten through Congress, all of those people would have made a lot of money. That is one of many reasons why they supported the legislation–clean air was simply a side issue. (References here and here).

 

 

Why Is The Good Economic News Always Unexpected When A Republican Is President?

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the July Retail Sales Report.

The article reports:

The Commerce Department – Economic and Statistics Administration – released the figures from July 2018 retail sales today (full pdf available here), showing an incredibly strong .5% increase in spending in July, bringing a 6.4% increase year-over-year;  and the results have dropped the jaws of the “experts”:

“Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales nudging up 0.1 percent in July.” (link)

“Retail spending in the United States increased a half-percent during the month of July — well beyond what experts predicted.” (link)

“U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in July as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and clothing, suggesting the economy remained strong” (link)

The article explains the reason for the growth:

As a direct result of President Trump’s multifaceted economic strategy, manufacturing companies are having to look at TCO which is “Total Cost of Ownership”. You see, President Trump is not only approaching manufacturing growth policy from the trade-agreement and investment side, his policies also approach the larger impacts on raw material, energy and labor.

This multi-pronged policy approach forces companies to look at transportation and location costs of manufacturing. In combination with more favorable tax rates; if domestic costs of material and energy drop, in addition to drops in regulatory and compliance costs of operating the business, the total operating cost differences drop dramatically.

This means labor and transportation costs become a larger part of the consideration in “where” to manufacture. All of these costs contribute to the TCO. Transportation costs are very expensive on durable goods imported. If the durable goods are made domestically, the transportation costs per unit shipped drop significantly. The TCO analysis then further reduces to looking at labor.

U.S. Labor is more expensive, yes. However, if material costs, energy costs, regulatory costs, taxes and transportation costs are part of the TCO equation – then higher labor costs can be offset by the previously mentioned savings.

Economic policies matter. If you want to see this kind of growth continue, elect conservative Republicans to Congress in November. If you want to see this kind of growth come to a screeching halt, elect Democrats–they will take back the tax cuts, put back the regulations, and move to impeach the President. At that point, we will have at least two years of the same economic disaster we saw under President Obama.

Common Sense In The Automotive Industry

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about the Trump administration’s decision regarding CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards. The administration is freezing current gas mileage requirements rather than instituting the drastic standards put in place just before President Obama left office. Regulators required that automakers achieve an average 54.5 mpg by 2025, but they relaxed that target to between 50.8 mpg and 52.6 mpg last year. The argument against the draconian standards was that they would increase the price of a car by almost $2000 and create unemployment in the auto industry. The harsh standards would also make our roads less safe.

The Washington Times reports:

A draft of a regulation prepared this summer would freeze an Obama-era program that was intended to improve fuel efficiency and cut pollution.

In excerpts obtained by The Associated Press, the administration argues that heavier vehicles are safer than lighter ones and that people would drive more — and be exposed to increased risk — if their cars get better mileage.

Until we can come up with a material to make cars that is light, strong, and inexpensive, heavier vehicles are safer. American roads have many semi-trailers and trucks on them. A lightweight vehicle does not have a chance of survival in a crash with a heavier vehicle. Fuel economy is a good thing, but the safety of Americans is also very important.

What Did He Do?

CNBC announced today that economic growth for the second quarter of 2018 was 4.1 percent. That is the fastest pace in nearly four years. So exactly what did President Trump do to help the economy come out of the slump it has been in? First let’s look at some history.

In March 2017 The New York Post reported the following:

With Thursday’s final revision of fourth-quarter GDP growth to 2.1 percent from its previous 1.9 percent level, President Obama is the only president since Herbert Hoover to not have guided the US economy to 3 percent growth in any year he was in office.

…Obama’s best year, as far as growing the economy, was 2015 when it grew 2.6 percent from 2014 — after growing 2.4 percent that year from 2013.

To understand the roots of the rapid economic growth, we need to look at some of the things President Trump has done since taking office.

In April of 2018, The Daily Caller reported:

In celebration of Earth Day, The Daily Caller News Foundation takes a look at the biggest climate regulations and agreements President Donald Trump’s administration has put on the chopping block, unshackling U.S. businesses from burdensome regulations and curtailing former President Obama’s climate legacy.

Here is a list of some of the regulations that ended or were changed:

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt would sign a proposed rule to repeal the CPP (Clean Power Plan), he announced on Oct. 10, 2017. Undoing the rule will save Americans $33 billion in compliance costs, despite the previous administration claiming it would only cost $8.4 billion and save millions through public health benefits, EPA officials estimated.

…Trump signed an executive order on February 28, 2017, calling for a review of the plan (Waters of The United States). On June 27 of that year, Pruitt would repeal the rule, he announced. The EPA is now in the process of reissuing the order but with a more clear definition of “waters of the U.S.” meant to lower compliance costs to businesses and minimize intrusion to private property.

…In December 2017, Obama utilized a provision in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit offshore drilling in large portions of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Enacted during the waning days of his presidency, the move was meant to cement the former president’s environmental legacy.

Just four months later, Trump signed an executive order undoing all of this. The “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” — Trump signed on April 28, 2017 — is an executive order that makes millions of acres of federal waters available for offshore drilling and exploration. Vice President Mike Pence referred to the order as a job creator and “an important step toward American energy independence.”

You get the picture. This was a very targeted approach–first you free businesses from over-regulation by the government, then you help America become energy independent (which is also a good idea for security reasons). Then to top it off, you pass a tax cut to allow American taxpayers to keep more of the money they earn.

Just for the record, Forbes reported in October 2017, America had reduced its carbon emissions. It is possible to limit both regulations and carbon emissions.

These are the strategies that have caused the rapid growth in the American economy. They are common-sense strategies that anyone could have implemented. The obvious question now is why didn’t someone do this before? We need to remember that businessmen solve problems and politicians talk about problems and calculate votes. It has become increasingly obvious that a President who is a businessman will do more good for America than a President who is a politician.

If There Is An Innocent Explanation For This, I Haven’t Heard It

As the investigations into the actions of the FBI and DOJ under President Obama continue, the information coming out of these investigations makes less and less sense. A recent bit of information makes no sense in terms of logic.

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill with the following headline: “How Comey intervened to kill WikiLeaks’ immunity deal.” The article includes the draft immunity deal the Justice Department was considering for Julian Assange. Obviously, Julian Assange would be the person who would know exactly who was behind the hacking or leaking of information from the Democratic National Committee computers.

The article tells the story:

This yarn begins in January 2017 when Assange’s legal team approached Waldman — known for his government connections — to see if the new Trump administration would negotiate with the WikiLeaks founder, holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy. They hoped Waldman, a former Clinton Justice Department official, might navigate the U.S. law enforcement bureaucracy and find the right people to engage.

…Laufman (David Laufman, an accomplished federal prosecutor and then head of Justice’s counterintelligence and export controls section) described what the government might want to achieve, and Waldman laid the groundwork for a deal to give Assange limited immunity and a one-time “safe passage” to leave the London embassy and talk with U.S. officials. Laufman played to Assange’s belief that he was a publisher, the documents show; he put an offer on the table from the intelligence community to help Assange assess how some hostile foreign powers might be infiltrating or harming WikiLeaks staff.

…Just a few days after the negotiations opened in mid-February, Waldman reached out to Sen. Warner; the lawyer wanted to see if Senate Intelligence Committee staff wanted any contact with Assange, to ask about Russia or other issues.

Warner engaged with Waldman over encrypted text messages, then reached out to Comey. A few days later, Warner contacted Waldman with an unexpected plea.

“He told me he had just talked with Comey and that, while the government was appreciative of my efforts, my instructions were to stand down, to end the discussions with Assange,” Waldman told me. Waldman offered contemporaneous documents to show he memorialized Warner’s exact words.

Waldman couldn’t believe a U.S. senator and the FBI chief were sending a different signal, so he went back to Laufman, who assured him the negotiations were still on. “What Laufman said to me after he heard I was told to ‘stand down’ by Warner and Comey was, ‘That’s bullshit. You are not standing down and neither am I,’” Waldman recalled.

A source familiar with Warner’s interactions says the senator’s contact on the Assange matter was limited and was shared with Senate Intelligence chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). But the source acknowledges that Warner consulted Comey and passed along the “stand down” instructions to Waldman: “That did happen.”

There are some obvious conclusions that can be drawn from these events, and I will let the readers draw them on their own. Suffice it to say, there were people in very high places that did not want Assange’s sources (or information) revealed. It will be interesting to see if Julian Assange is ever offered immunity and what that immunity will include.

Please follow the link to read the entire article which includes screenshots of the various documents that back up this strange story.

 

 

It Will Be Fun To Watch The Media’s Reaction To This

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that Norwegians Christian Tybring-Gjedde, an MP, and former justice minister Per-Willy Amundsen have nominated President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. Remember that in 2009 President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He had been in office less than a year and really hadn’t accomplished much except apologizing on three continents for what he views as the sins of America and his predecessors. This was perfectly in line with those who award the prize–they have very little respect for the principles that make America free and strong.

President Trump deserves the award for beginning negotiations with Kim Jong Un. Obviously we have no idea how those negotiations will turn out, but talking is better than lobbing nuclear weapons. That is a step toward peace.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out–will the Nobel Peace Prize Committee take an honest look at the contribution to peace that President Trump has made to world peace or will they continue to allow politics to determine their choice to receive the award.

The 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement lists the North Korean nuclear program as one of the reasons the clock was moved to two minutes to midnight in 2018. It remains to be seen if the meeting this week will begin to end that threat, but at least President Trump has made a step in that direction.

Funding Terrorism Because You Don’t Think You Will Get Caught

Iran is known to be one of the major suppliers for weapons and terrorists around the world. The IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) American troops encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan generally originated in Iran. This is not a country that we want to give a lot of money to–the  money doesn’t go to the people–it goes to the military and to fund terrorism. So what in the world was President Obama thinking when he made a deal with Iran that gave them a boatload of money? It gets worse.

The Washington Times posted an article today about an attempt by President Obama to give Tehran access to American banks to convert the large amount of money Iran received after the nuclear agreement into American dollars.

The article reports:

The Obama administration — despite repeatedly assuring Congress that Iran would remain barred from the U.S. financial system — secretly mobilized to give Tehran access to American banks to convert the windfall of cash it received from sanctions relief under the 2015 nuclear deal into dollars, an investigative report by the Senate has revealed.

A copy of the report, obtained by The Washington Times, outlines how Obama-era State and Treasury Department officials discreetly issued a special license for the conversion to a major Omani bank and unsuccessfully pressured two U.S. banks to partake in the transaction, all while misleading lawmakers about the activities.

The document, compiled by the Senate’s Republican-led chief investigative subcommittee, began circulating Tuesday, just as the Trump administration issued its harshest warnings to date to foreign governments and companies to avoid doing business with Iran or find themselves in the crosshairs of Washington’s reimposition of sanctions as part of Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

The article explains that Congress was not informed of what was going on–in fact they were lied to:

The Senate Homeland Security Committee’s permanent subcommittee on investigations probe contends that the Obama administration went out of its way to keep U.S. lawmakers in the dark about calculated and secretive efforts to give Tehran a back channel to the international financial system and to U.S. banks, facilitating a massive U.S. currency conversion worth billions of dollars.

“Senior U.S. government officials repeatedly testified to Congress that Iranian access to the U.S. financial system was not on the table or part of any deal,” according to a draft copy of the document obtained by The Times. “Despite these claims, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, at the direction of the U.S. State Department, granted a specific license that authorized a conversion of Iranian assets worth billions of U.S. dollars using the U.S. financial system.

“Even after the specific license was issued, U.S. government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system,” the report said.

The article concludes:

Mr. Portman said in a statement Tuesday night that “the Obama administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran.”

“Despite claims both before and after the Iran deal was completed that the U.S. financial system would remain off limits, the Obama administration issued a specific license allowing Iran to convert billions of dollars in assets using the U.S. financial system,” Mr. Portman said. “The only reason this transaction wasn’t executed was because two U.S. banks refused, even though the administration asked them to help convert the money.”

Such sanctions, he added, “are a vital foreign policy tool, and the U.S. government should never work to actively undermine their enforcement or effectiveness.”

Thank God our banks had more integrity than President Obama.

The Facts Aren’t Important–Just Create Outrage

It seems as if every week there is a new dust-up about some horrible thing Donald Trump has done. Oddly enough, when these stories are disproved (as they often are), the media seems to ignore that fact. One recent example of the mainstream media’s hysteria is the missing children who came here illegally without their parents who were housed in wire cages. Somehow much of the media has ignored the fact that the pictures of children in wire cages were from 2014. President Trump wasn’t even active in politics at that point! So what is the actual truth about the missing children?

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial on the subject yesterday.

The editorial cites one blatant example of news that simply is not true:

Next, there was a picture showing a bus outfitted with child safety seats being used at an ICE family detention center in Karnes County, Texas. ABC Houston reporter Antonio Arellano tweeted the picture on Sunday, describing it as “a prison bus just for babies.”

Again, outrage ensued.

“Unconscionable and inhumane, “said Texas Sen. Sylvia Garcia. “This is what we’ve come to under Donald Trump,” said Stephen King. Others tweeted: “your new gestapo at work,” “this is what fascism looks like,” “we live in a dark period of American history,” “moral abomination.” Etc., etc.

Oops. Turns out this picture, too, was taken when Obama was president. And, the bus was actually used to take the children on field trips to places like the San Antonio Zoo, a nearby park, the movies, as well as for medical treatment and court appointments.

So much for the Trump-era inhumane prison bus for babies.

About those missing children…The editorial reports:

Back in 2008, the inspector general for the Health and Human Services department noted that HHS and Homeland Security weren’t regularly checking in on these children to make sure they were doing OK with their sponsor families. So, HHS started following up with the sponsors 30 days after the children’s release.

But, as the IG noted in a follow-up July 2017 report, HHS doesn’t always succeed in its attempts to reach the sponsors. It reported that in the first half of 2016, HHS couldn’t reach 16% of the 25,975 children placed with sponsors during those months.

In other words, under President Obama, the government “lost” 4,156 illegal immigrant children in just the first six months of 2016!

It is generally a good idea if you choose to get outraged to check your facts first.

When The Shoe Is On The Other Foot

No person is entirely objective. No honest person claims to be. In the field of journalism, some of the people who claim to be objective are not, and some people simply admit their biases and go on from there. I have no problem with a reporter being biased as long as he is honest about where he is coming from. Tilted journalism occurs on both sides of the aisle. It is, however, interesting to see how far left of center most journalists have moved in the last thirty years. Up until the early 1990’s, there was one point of view being put forward–it began with The New York Times and continued through the three major television networks’ nightly news. When Rush Limbaugh began his national radio show, things began to change–conservative viewpoints were being heard. The monopoly was over. Fox News is actually slightly right of center, but is always being attacked as right wing. Actually CNN is so far left of center that it seems as if the center has moved. We will never have totally centered news–what we actually need is balance. A new network is attempting to bring that balance, and the cries of those in fear of losing their monopoly are getting loud.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about Sinclair Broadcasting, a network which forced its news anchors to read a promotional statement on air about fake news. The gist of the statement was that Sinclair was not going to be fake news and was going to endeavor to be fair and objective. The reaction by other media was telling.

The article reports:

Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said that Sinclair appeared to running “Pravda-style propaganda” that he likened to the old Soviet Union. “So here you have an entire broadcasting system running a propaganda clip.

“People will say, ‘Oh, look at the conservatives reading their scripts,’ [but] it’s actually got nothing to do with conservatives, it’s Trumpian and it does smack of … state-run media for an autocrat,” Scarborough said.

The promo video did have one big booster: Trump tweeted his support.

One Sinclair insider said a news anchor at one station had objected when he read the script and said he felt “uncomfortable.”

Does anyone remember President Obama’s JournoList? On July 25, 2010, The Daily Caller posted an article about the JournoList.

The article reports:

In 2007, when Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein founded Journolist, an online gathering place for several hundred liberal journalists, academics and political activists, he imagined a discussion group that would connect young writers to top sources.

But in the heat of a bitter presidential campaign in 2008, the list’s discussions veered into collusion and coordination at key political moments, documents revealed this week by The Daily Caller show.

In a key episode, Journolist members openly plotted to bury attention on then-candidate Barack Obama’s controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The Washington Independent’s Spencer Ackerman, for instance, suggested an effective tactic to distract from the issue would be to pick one of Obama’s critics, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

…Yet Journolist’s discussions show an influential left-wing faction of the media participating in a far more intentional sort of liberal bias.

Journolist’s members included dozens of straight-news reporters from major news organizations, including Time, Newsweek, The Associated Press, Reuters, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Politico, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, PBS and a large NPR affiliate in California.

Aren’t these some of the same people who are going crazy because Sinclair Broadcasting spoke out against fake news? Seems like the pot calling the kettle black.

 

 

The Things Many Of Us Didn’t Know

You can’t change history, and ‘what if’s’ are somewhat useless, but on February 4th, Larry Elder posted a very interesting article in the Toronto Sun. The article reveals one way the media bias in America has impacted our nation.

The article is titled, “Had the ‘news’ media done its job, Obama would not have become president.” That is a very interesting thought. I somewhat disagree in that I believe the media considered it their job to discredit anyone who said anything negative about then Senator Obama and acted accordingly–so in their minds they were doing their job.

The article reports the first obvious example of the media omitting something that might have been relevant:

A photojournalist withheld publication of a 2005 photograph of a smiling then-Sen. Barack Obama with a beaming Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic, anti-white leader of the Nation of Islam.

The occasion was a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. The photographer, Askia Muhammad, said that almost immediately after he took the picture a CBC staffer called and said, “We have to have the picture back.”

Muhammad later surrendered the disk with the photo to Farrakhan’s chief of staff. “I gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy,” Muhammad said in an interview with the Trice Edney News Wire. “But after the (presidential) nomination was secured and all the way up until the inauguration; then for eight years after he was President, it was kept under cover.”

Harvard Law School professor emeritus and lifelong liberal Alan Dershowitz says he would not have campaigned for Obama had he been aware of this photograph. Dershowitz says: “Louis Farrakhan is a virulent anti-Semite. He’s called Judaism a ‘gutter religion.’ He’s anti-American. He is a horrible, horrible human being.

Example number two:

Obama’s longtime association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ would likely have derailed his candidacy had media pounced on this as they did the Trump “Access Hollywood” tape. But for Fox News’ coverage of Wright and the videotapes of his fiery sermons, the other major media would have avoided or downplayed Obama’s 20-year association with a pastor who gave fiery sermons critical of America and who had a longtime friendship with Farrakhan.

Ezra Klein, then with The Washington Post, set up a private internet forum he called JournoList, which served as an online gathering place for several hundred like-minded (aka liberal) reporters. When the Jeremiah Wright scandal broke, several reporters on the “J-List” literally schemed of ways to deflect attention from the scandal.

Not an encouraging picture of a supposedly unbiased media.

The third example:

Then there’s the Los Angeles Times, which, to this day, has not and will not publish even a transcript of the “Khalidi tapes.” Rashid Khalidi, an Obama friend and a University of Chicago Palestinian-American professor of Middle East studies, had a going-away party to celebrate his new post at Columbia University. Someone gave the Los Angeles Times a videotape of this 2003 event that Obama attended, where he reminisced about their friendship in a tribute to the professor.

Khalidi was an outspoken supporter of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. But what he said and what others said at this farewell party, we will never know. Were attendees bashing Israel? Did Obama bash Israel? The Times says it promised the unnamed source who provided the videotape not to air or reproduce the tape. The paper, whose editorial board endorsed Obama, claims it simply kept its promise to a source. If a tape could have ended Trump’s 2016 campaign, would the LA Times, whose editorial board twice endorsed Obama and considered Trump a danger to the world, have sat on it?

Whether or not this information would have mattered to the voters is not clear. What is clear is that each one of these events was an indication of the policies Senator Obama would embrace as President. Under President Obama we had eight years of very strained relationships with a number of our allies–the Churchill bust that was sent back to England, and the horrific treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during one of his visits when he was ignored then asked to leave by the back door of the White House are just two examples.

Under President Trump our relationship with Israel and Britain have improved. We are regaining the respect that our country lost under President Obama. We are no longer ‘leading from behind’ (which makes no sense anyway), but taking our place in the family of nations as a supporter of freedom and a voice for the exploited.

Evidently The Wheels Of Justice Turn Really Slowly

On April 22, 2015, The New York Times posted an article about the Uranium One deal.

The article stated:

Uranium investors’ efforts to buy mining assets in Kazakhstan and the United States led to a takeover bid by a Russian state-owned energy company. The investors gave millions to the Clinton Foundation over the same period, while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office was involved with approving the Russian bid.

The article included the following graphic:

Yesterday, according to an article posted at The Hill, Douglas Campbell, an FBI informant, testified to three congressional committees via a written statement.

The Hill reports:

An FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton‘s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.

The informant, Douglas Campbell, said in the statement obtained by The Hill that he was told by Russian nuclear executives that Moscow had hired the American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide specifically because it was in position to influence the Obama administration, and more specifically Hillary Clinton.

Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems as if Mr. Campbell’s statement simply reiterates what The New York Times told us almost three years ago. The Democrats, of course, will be trying to discredit what Mr. Campbell has said, but again I don’t see how they will have any credibility because of the New York Times article.

The article at The Hill states:

But Campbell said he was gratified when the FBI in 2016 gave him a $50,000 reward check celebrating his undercover work, directly answering Democrats criticisms that federal prosecutors didn’t trust him as a witness.

“My FBI handlers praised my work. They told me on various occasions that details from the undercover probe had been briefed directly to FBI top officials. On two occasions my handlers were particularly excited, claiming that my undercover work had been briefed to President Obama as part of his daily presidential briefing,” he said.

In the end, though, he told lawmakers he remains disturbed that the Obama administration made so many favorable decisions benefiting the Russian nuclear industry when the evidence of wrongdoing and ill intent was so extensive.

“I was frustrated watching the U.S. government make numerous decisions benefiting Rosatom and Tenex while those entities were engaged in serious criminal conduct on U.S. soil,” he wrote. “Tenex and Rosatom were raking in billions of U.S. dollars by signing contracts with American nuclear utility clients at the same time they were indulging in extortion by using threats to get bribes and kickbacks, with a portion going to Russia for high ranking officials.”

He said he never got a satisfactory answer from the FBI.

“I remember one response I got from an agent when I asked how it was possible CFIUS would approve the Uranium One sale when the FBI could prove Rosatom was engaged in criminal conduct. His answer: ‘Ask your politics,’ ” Campbell said.

This is a troubling list of events. It sounds as if even The New York Times was willing to post an article about what was going on. This is another situation where the Clinton Foundation received donations related to matters involving the government at critical times. The events also raise some questions about the FBI–why weren’t they shouting from the rooftops when this was going on? Isn’t their oath to America–not to any one administration?

Currently There Are More People Being Thrown Under The Bus Than Are On The Bus

Politico is not a right-wing website. Generally, it leans left. So why are they throwing President Obama under the bus? I don’t know, but Politico posted an article yesterday detailing how the Obama Administration blocked an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States. This is part of the price President Obama was willing to pay to get the Iranian nuclear treaty.

The article at Politico is long, but it is worth reading. I will try to summarize the main points, but I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire story.

The article reports:

…Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.

The article quotes someone involved in the investigation as saying that the program was blocked from the top.

The article further reports:

Obama had entered office in 2009 promising to improve relations with Iran as part of a broader rapprochement with the Muslim world. On the campaign trail, he had asserted repeatedly that the Bush administration’s policy of pressuring Iran to stop its illicit nuclear program wasn’t working, and that he would reach out to Tehran to reduce tensions.

The man who would become Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser and then CIA director, John BrennanJohn BrennanObama’s White House counterterrorism adviser, who became CIA director in 2013., went further. He recommended in a policy paper that “the next president has the opportunity to set a new course for relations between the two countries” through not only a direct dialogue, but “greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political system.”

Anyone who knows the history of Lebanon understands that Hezbollah is not a force for  peace, freedom, or stability.

The article goes on to detail money laundering by Hezbollah and  the fact that Hezbollah has operatives in America planning terrorist attacks. It is very obvious in reading the article that the activities of the Obama Administration put Americans at risk. The efforts at ending the drug trafficking and money laundering will resume under the Trump Administration. At a time when America has major drug problems, it would be a really good idea to shut down any traffickers we can.

What Some Economists Are Saying About President Trump’s Proposed Tax Plan

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about President Trump‘s proposed tax plan. The article reports on a new study from Boston University economists.

The article reports:

“We find that, depending on the year considered, the new Republican tax plan raises GDP by between 3 and 5 percent and real wages by between 4 and 7 percent,” the economists explain. “This translates into roughly $3,500 annually more annual real take-home pay for the average American household.”

Economists believe this growth can happen due to the plan’s aim to reduce the marginal effective corporate tax rate from 34.6 percent to 18.6 percent, which they believe will grow the capital stock by 12 to 20 percent.

The article concludes:

The study also says every American can benefit from this tax reform framework.

“The [Unified Framework] tax reform delivers small increases in lifetime welfare to current retirees and moderate ones to workers and future generations,” the study states. “All generations benefit from the policy. The old benefit slightly from higher rates of return on their investment, and the young from higher wages.”

The Boston University study is similar to the findings from the Council of Economic Advisers study put out earlier this week, which said that the average household income could increase by $4,000 annually if the corporate tax rate was cut from 35 percent to 20 percent.

“The truth is that a tax cut like this very conservatively will increase the median wage by about $4,000 a year over a relatively short time,” said Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. “If you look at some of the more optimistic estimates of the literature and then run the thing over time you could be looking at $10,000, even $20,000 higher wages relative to baseline, and that’s the message of this tax reform.”

The economy is growing right now at a much faster rate than it did under President Obama. There are a number of reasons for that. President Trump has been quietly removing the government regulations that were a drag on the economy. President Trump has also allowed the coal industry to resume operations and allowed other businesses to work toward American energy independence. As a result of this, gasoline and other energy prices are relatively low right now, making America a desirable place to do business. Also, the lower gasoline prices result in more money in all Americans’ pockets. Low gasoline prices impact everyone who drives–they are the equivalent of a tax cut for everyone. When people have more money in their pockets, they do things like go out to dinner, go shopping, or go to a movie. This puts money in the pockets of the people who work in those industries. Everybody wins.

The Cost Of Kicking The Can Down The Road

Joel C. Rosenberg posted an article on his blog yesterday detailing the history behind the current crisis with North Korea. The article asks the question, “How did we get to the point that Pyongyang may have 60 warheads?” That is certainly a very valid question.

Here are some of the highlights of the history reported in the article:

In October of 1994, President Bill Clinton cut a deal with North Korea in which Pyongyang agreed to “freeze and gradually dismantle its nuclear weapons development program,” reported the New York Times.

“This agreement will help achieve a longstanding and vital American objective — an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula,” Mr. Clinton told the American people.

“This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world,” Mr. Clinton added. “It’s a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community.”

In return, the Clinton administration gave North Korea $4 billion in energy aid.

In addition, the Clinton deal gave North Korea two nuclear power plants, for which American taxpayers helped foot the bill.

“This is a good deal for the United States,” Mr. Clinton said at the time. “North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.”

Obviously, North Korea chose not to honor its end of the bargain. President Clinton would have done well to follow the advice of President Reagan–“Trust, but verify.”

The article explains that President Obama’s foreign policy toward North Korea was also not successful:

In February of 2012, President Obama was similarly duped.

Mr. Obama agreed to a deal in which Pyongyang promised (again) not to build nuclear weapons and stop testing long-range ballistic missiles.

In return, the Obama administration agreed to give North Korea 240,000 metric tons of food.

Experts warned the Obama team at the time that “it is naïve at best for the administration to herald a North Korean ‘commitment to denuclearization’ after the many years of North Korean actions definitively proving the contrary.”

Less than a month later, Pyongyang tested another long-range rocket in clear violation of the agreement, and a humiliated Mr. Obama had to suspend the food aid program.

Clearly, the policy of “strategic patience” (read: “do nothing and hope for the best”) run by Mr. Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a colossal failure.

Unfortunately, the North Korean model was used by President Obama as the template for the Iran nuclear deal. President Obama chose to overlook the fact that the North Korean model was a failure.

The article concludes:

If all this weren’t bad enough, it’s made worse by the fact that the insane Obama nuclear deal with Iran was essentially patterned — and sold — after the Clinton deal with North Korea. As I warned in this Fox News interview and elsewhere (see here and here), the ayatollahs in Tehran are working closely with Pyongyang on nuclear and missile technology. They’re also watching how the U.S. and the world powers handle a nation aspiring to become a nuclear armed power. So far, they’re learning the West can be played for fools, and a small but aggressive nation can build a nuclear arsenal without much fear of being stopped.

America does not want war, but we don’t want to be nuked by a third world tin-horn dictator either. It is unfortunate that Iran and North Korea have been allowed to progress as far as they have on their nuclear programs. We also need to understand that Russia and China are not innocent bystanders in this situation–both countries are not unhappy when America is put at risk. At this time we need to unite as a people behind a strong President. Otherwise, there is a good chance that this situation will escalate in the wrong direction very quickly.