Freeing Americans From Red Tape

This was posted at One America News today:

The article reports:

President Trump touts his administration’s advanced progress on deregulation, saying for every one new regulation — 22 are eliminated.

From the White House Thursday, the president said this will allow the U.S. to build and create more jobs.

President Trump said checking on unlawful regulations means “defending Democracy” and “draining the swamp.”

In a symbolic “cutting of red tape,” the president compared a short stack of papers representing regulations from the 1960’s to that of a tall stack of papers symbolizing today’s regulations.

President Trump has stated that his goal is to get the stack of regulations smaller than the stack from 1960.

Why Did The Economy Turn Around In Less Than A Year?

On Wednesday, The Observer posted an article titled, “How Trump Got the Economy Booming in Less Than a Year.” That’s a question we need to answer if we are going to continue the boom.

The article reports some of the economic successes:

Early into his administration, Trump’s policies are already restoring growth. Real GDP grew 3.1 percent in the last quarter, up more than 50 percent from the average for the eight years that Obama was president.

In Trump’s first six months in office, more than a million new jobs were created, driving unemployment down to a 16-year low. The stock market set 34 new record highs, with headlines just last week screaming “Dow Races Through 23,000.”

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to nearly a 16-year high, as did Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index, both contributing to soaring retail sales. The National Association of Manufacturers Outlook Survey rocketed to a record 91.4 percent, the highest two quarter average for manufacturing optimism in the survey’s 20-year history. The Institute for Supply Management reported it’s barometer of manufacturing rose to 57.8, with over 50 indicating expansion of the manufacturing sector.

So how did this happen. Part of the reason for the growth is the promise of pro-growth tax reform based on the Reagan model of lower marginal tax rates. But there is another reason–based on actions, not promises–deregulation.

The article explains:

Trump has already made a lot of progress in removing Obama’s boot on the neck of American energy producers. That is why U.S. shale oil production has already soared to record levels since Trump entered office.

America today has the resources to lead the world as the top producer worldwide of oil, natural gas and coal. Removing America from the Paris Climate Accord, the start of the demise of Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan,” and Trump’s ongoing dismantling of the anti-American energy regulation of Obama’s EPA has already liberated America’s energy producers to assume these world leading roles.

Any economy with the world’s number one oil producing industry, number one natural gas producing industry, and number one coal producing industry is going to be leading the world with booming economic growth. And not just in energy but in manufacturing too. Because manufacturing is an energy intensive activity.

The article concludes:

The House and Senate have now passed budgets providing for many of the spending reductions proposed in Trump’s budget. Contrary to outdated Keynesian economics, government spending detracts from rather than adds to the economy, draining resources from the productive private sector, which is why Obama’s “stimulus” never worked.

In the 2010 and 2014 elections, voters decisively expressed what they think of the Keynesian doctrine that increased deficits and government debt contribute to economic recovery and restored growth. Voters first obliterated the House Democrat majority in 2010 and then took away the Senate Democrat majority in 2014.

Wait until America gains the reality of pro-growth tax reform. When it further restores booming recovery, voters will feel vindicated in their judgements and continue their support for the economic policies of the Trump administration.

I am not convinced that all of the voters will be smart enough to realize what has happened to the economy this year. Unfortunately, we have a bloc of voters who will be more concerned with whether or not the government will continue to pay them not to work. Part of the challenge in growing America’s economy is restoring America’s work ethic. That is part of the foundation of the change that needs to come.

The July Jobs Report

I am not an economist, and I don’t play one on television, but I am capable of basic observations. The July jobs numbers came out Friday. This put the rather biased media in a position of having to say that the report beat expectations. When do they ever get their expectations right?

The Wall Street Journal posted the statistics on Friday. Here are some highlights:

The economy created 209,000 jobs in July, well above this year’s average monthly gain of 184,000.

…The jobless rate fell by a tenth of percentage point to 4.3%, matching May as the lowest level of unemployment in 16 years. It declined despite an expansion in the labor force.

…The average hourly wage for private-sector workers grew 2.5% in July. That’s a modest pace historically, but it looks better when considering inflation is so low.

…The share of Americans holding jobs or actively looking for work rose a tenth of a percentage point last month to 62.9%. That’s very slight progress.

…A measure underemployment—one that takes into account jobless workers, reluctant part-time workers and Americans too discouraged to look for work—remained at 8.6%. That’s two tenths of percentage point higher than May’s level, though it’s down more than a point from the prior year.

You can’t turn eight years of anemic economic growth around in seven months. However, we are definitely moving in the right direction. Despite the lack of cooperation from the Washington establishment, President Trump is deregulating and moving forward. If we are to see real economic growth, we need to drain the swamp of those establishment politicians who are blocking President Trump’s economic policies. We need to find primary challengers to many of the so-called leaders in Washington.

Targeting Terrorists’ Money Networks

On Friday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about efforts to track and block the movement of funds by terrorists.

The article reports:

The Trump administration needs to significantly rebuild and expand law enforcement agencies’ ability to target and take down terrorist financing networks after President Obama systematically disbanded the work in an attempt to ease relations with Iran for the nuclear deal, according to former senior U.S. officials with decades of experience in the field.

There was a mass exodus of top officials who spent years trying to bolster the U.S. government’s ability to target these terrorist networks’ illicit financing after the Obama administration dismantled their investigative units over the past several years, these experts say.

…”Our Department of Justice must rebuild, properly fund, and expand capabilities and investigations” against Hezbollah, and their friends and partners in leadership of the governments of Venezuela and North Korea, said David Asher, a former adviser to Gen. John Allen at Defense and State Departments who now sits on the board of advisors of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance.

If the U.S. can successfully “crush” a criminal organization’s financial network, it will significantly increase the chances of disrupting their illicit activities, said Derek Maltz, executive director of government relations at Pen-Link.

It is becoming obvious that President Obama ‘gave away the store’ in the Iranian nuclear negotiations. I suspect that as time goes on, we will see more concessions made to Iran that were a danger to America in addition to the money paid to release hostages held by Iran.

The article goes on to show links between drug running and money-laundering operations and terrorist organizations. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Now is the time to cut off the funds from terrorist organizations.

While You Were Watching The Political Circus…

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that at the beginning of May the total continuing claims for unemployment benefits ran at the lowest level in 28 years. The workforce participation rate in April was 62.9 percent (in March it was 63.0). That number has been hovering at 62 and 63 percent since January of 2012.

The article reports:

Over the past month, the average number of continuing claims per week has clocked in at 1.95 million, the lowest number in 43 years.

Those numbers were released as part of the department’s weekly jobless claims report, which is valued by investors and government officials because it provides a frequently-updated indication of new claims for unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs. Fewer layoffs means more job creation.

Thursday’s report showed just 232,000 new claims, adjusted for seasonal variations, for the week ending on May 13. That was the lowest number in nearly three months, and an extremely low mark by historical standards.

…At 4.4 percent in April, the unemployment rate is already below where Federal Reserve officials thought it could sustainably go if the economy were fully healthy.

Jobless claims below 300,000, economists calculate, go along with steady or declining unemployment, meaning that the unemployment rate could fall further still.

Deregulation, efforts to repeal ObamaCare, and the development of America’s energy resources have a lot to do with the economic growth that has begun under President Trump. Note that all three of these things involve an undoing of President Obama’s policies. Elections do have consequences, and the 2016 election has had very positive economic consequences.

Eternal Vigilance Is The Cost Of Freedom

While we were waiting for Donald Trump to become President, there were some things going on in Washington that we need to look at. At the time these things may not have seemed important, but in view of recent events, they need to be re-examined.

Yesterday PJ Media reported on a New York Times story from January 12, 2017,.

The New York Times reported:

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.

The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.

PJ Media states:

Let’s call the roster of the bad guys:

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch signed the new rules, permitting the N.S.A. to disseminate “raw signals intelligence information,” on Jan. 3, after the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., signed them on Dec. 15, according to a 23-page, largely declassified copy of the procedures.

Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.’s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.

Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.

This is essentially a land mine placed in the path of the Trump Administration by the Obama Administration. If I told you how angry I was about this, this blog would no longer be family-friendly.  I hope Americans can put partisan politics aside and realize how damaging this is to the country and to the Fourth Amendment rights of all Americans. Former President Obama has gone out of his way to make things difficult for President Trump. This is not appropriate. It is petty, vindictive and unpatriotic. If laws were not broken, there cannot be a legal penalty, but there should be a public censure of some sort. I have always felt that former President Obama did not understand America. His actions in the last months of his presidency and his actions since leaving office have convinced me that is true.

How To Solve A Problem

The first step in solving any problem is identifying the problem. Once you have identified a problem, it can be broken down into small parts and easily solved. That is exactly what needs to happen with the current state of the American military and our treatment of our soldiers and veterans.

On Saturday The Daily Signal posted an article about the steps President Trump is taking to rebuild our military.

The article reports:

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an exceptionally important executive order initiating both the beginning of the rebuilding of the U.S. armed forces and the fulfillment of a campaign promise.

Because he signed this order on the same day he signed the order on immigration it hasn’t yet gotten the attention it deserves. That’s a shame.

The order, titled “Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces,” has not yet been officially posted to the White House website. But a draft of the order, accompanied by news reports, gives us enough details to be able to assess it.

The order directs Secretary of Defense James Mattis to conduct a 30-day review of the readiness of the armed forces to assess their ability to conduct the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and other forms of radical Islamic terrorism, as well as near peer competitors and regional adversaries.

The article includes some disturbing information:

The Heritage 2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength assessed our overall military capability as “marginal, trending towards weak” because of many years of budget cuts and overuse. Our assessment found that the U.S. Army today is the smallest it has been since the start of World War II; the Navy is the smallest it has been since World War I; and the Air Force suffers from crippling shortages of pilots and maintenance personnel. For example, the average age of the Air Force’s planes is 27 years old.

The evaluation and rebuilding of our military could and should have been done through Congress, but unfortunately Congress has chosen not to make military preparedness a priority. Hopefully President Trump will be able to lead Congress to a place where they understand the necessity of a strong American military.