Good News For Free Speech

The Daily Signal reported yesterday that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Baltimore pro-life pregnancy centers do not have to put up signage in their waiting rooms saying they do not offer or refer for abortions.

The article reports:

At least 10 pregnancy help centers in the city of Baltimore are being spared the city’s “weaponized” attack on their work—including Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, which opened its fifth location in May 2017, right next door to a Planned Parenthood.

A legal process that has played out since early 2010 has failed to establish even one instance of pregnancy centers deceiving or misleading women into their offices, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III wrote in the ruling.

“After seven years of litigation and a 1,295-page record before us, the city does not identify a single example of a woman who entered the Greater Baltimore Center’s waiting room under the misimpression that she could obtain an abortion there,” Wilkinson, a Ronald Reagan appointee, wrote.

With pregnancy centers awaiting the Supreme Court’s say on a 2015 California law that forces state-licensed pro-life medical clinics to tell women where and how to get taxpayer-funded abortions, the 4th Circuit’s ruling could play into a number of state and local efforts to curb life-saving alternatives to abortion.

The article concludes:

As the abortion industry continues to spin its wheels in opposition to pro-life efforts, the pregnancy help community continues to celebrate lives saved and families transformed, one woman at a time.

And, should the courts continue to shift the battlefield from government coercion to compassionate persuasion, the pregnancy help community can expect to go on celebrating more and more lives in the coming year.

I wonder how people will look back at abortion in twenty years. Since Roe v. Wade (1973), there have been 59,115,995 abortions based on numbers reported by the Guttmacher Institute 1973-2014, with projections of 926,190 for 2015-16. GI has estimated possible undercounts of 3-5%,so an additional 3% is factored into the overall total. That’s a lot of American children that are not with us.

 

Why We Need Tax Reform

Yesterday, Walter E. Williams, a professor of economics at George Mason University, posted an article in The Daily Signal. The article explains who pays taxes in the United States.

The article reports:

According to the latest IRS data, the payment of income taxes is as follows.

The top 1 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted annual gross income of $480,930 or higher, pay about 39 percent of federal income taxes. That means about 892,000 Americans are stuck with paying 39 percent of all federal taxes.

The top 10 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted gross income over $138,031, pay about 70.6 percent of federal income taxes.

About 1.7 million Americans, less than 1 percent of our population, pay 70.6 percent of federal income taxes.

The article points out that there are some serious questions about the fairness of this arrangement:

But the fairness question goes further. The bottom 50 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted gross income of $39,275 or less, pay 2.83 percent of federal income taxes.

Thirty-seven million tax filers have no tax obligation at all. The Tax Policy Center estimates that 45.5 percent of households will not pay federal income tax this year.

There’s a severe political problem of so many Americans not having any skin in the game. These Americans become natural constituencies for big-spending politicians. After all, if you don’t pay federal taxes, what do you care about big spending?

So why should the bottom 50 percent of income earners and those who pay no income tax be interested in electing people who will cut taxes and stop runaway spending? If less than 1 percent of the population is carrying the tax burden, they really don’t have any serious political leverage–they are a very small voting bloc.

There is also another aspect to this:

There’s another side to taxes that goes completely unappreciated. According to a 2013 study by the Virginia-based Mercatus Center, Americans spend up to $378 billion annually in tax-related accounting costs, and in 2011, Americans spent more than 6 billion hours complying with the tax code.

Those hours are equivalent to the annual hours of a workforce of 3.4 million, or the number of people employed by four of the largest U.S. companies—Wal-Mart, IBM, McDonald’s, and Target—combined.

Along with tax cuts, tax simplification should be on the agenda.

Our current tax code is a tribute to the successful efforts of lobbyists and special interest groups. That needs to change.

 

 

Voter Fraud Is Real

The Daily Signal posted an article today about voter fraud.

The article reports:

On Thursday, The Heritage Foundation is releasing a new edition of its voter fraud database. Featuring well over 100 new cases, the database documents 1,071 instances of voter fraud spanning 47 states, including 938 criminal convictions.

This revamped edition of the database separates cases by type of disposition, allowing readers to easily distinguish not only what type of fraud occurred but the outcome of the case—criminal convictions, pre-trial diversion programs, and other types of adjudication used in various states and counties across the United States.

The article reports specific incidents in a few states. Elections, even federal elections, are controlled by the individual states. However, it is time for all the states to take action to limit voter fraud. One way to limit voter fraud would be to institute voter identification. That would be a really good place to start.

Investigating Voter Fraud

Yesterday The Daily Signal noted that the presidential commission to examine voter fraud began its work. The goal of the commission is to examine voter fraud and the soundness of the election process throughout the country.

The article reminds us why this commission is needed:

The panel likely will push best practices among states, such as voter ID and updating voter registration rolls, said Jason Snead, a legal policy analyst with The Heritage Foundation, who studies voter fraud and helps maintain the think tank’s database on voter fraud.

Snead noted a Pew Research Center study that found 1.8 million dead people were listed as voters, 12 million records with incorrect data, and 2.75 million persons registered in more than one state.

Every vote cast illegally cancels the vote of a legal voter. It is time we investigated and put an end to voter fraud.

Some Things Can Be Done Better Without The Government

This video was posted at YouTube yesterday by The Daily Signal. It is the story of Solutions for Change, an organization that is helping solve homelessness in Vista, California. The organization does not receive federal aid because the program requires residents to be drug-free.

The article summarizes how Solutions for Change makes a difference:

Instead of simply providing residents a place to sleep, Solutions for Change takes a holistic approach to solving homelessness, requiring residents to go through counseling, take courses in financial literacy, parenting, leadership, and anger management, and eventually, get a job.

 

Solutions for change had to choose between keeping their drug-free policy or accepting federal money. I believe that they made the right choice.

What Would Be The Result Of This Goal?

On September 13th, The Daily Signal posted an article about one of the goals of the current Democratic Party. This explains one of the reasons this coming election is so important.

The article reports:

Sen. Chuck Schumer has reminded us just how important the upcoming presidential election will be in shaping the federal judiciary, calling getting a progressive Supreme Court his “number one goal.”

So what would a progressive Supreme Court mean?

The article cites a few examples:

Schumer specifically criticized a 2013 decision involving a 5-4 decision about voting rights. In Shelby County v. Holder, the court held that Section 4 of the Voting Right Act, which set forth a 40-year-old coverage formula laying out which states needed to get preapproval from the federal government before making any changes in their voting laws, was unconstitutional.

The court explained that Congress “did not use the record it compiled to shape a coverage formula grounded in current conditions” and that the formula had “no logical relation to the present day.”

As Roll Call reported, Schumer “predicted that the Shelby County decision on voting rights would be overturned by a Supreme Court with the kind of progressive justices he would prioritize confirming as majority leader.”

A progressive Supreme Court would, therefore, be willing to infringe on states’ rights.

The article further reports:

The high court has been closely divided on a number of contentious issues in recent years: the Second Amendment (Heller, McDonald), religious liberty (Hobby Lobby, Town of Greece), the First Amendment (Citizens United), racial preferences (Fisher I), and the death penalty (Glossip), among others. One vote made the difference in each of these cases, which most consider as victories for the conservative wing of the court.

Our basic liberties are at stake. Are we going to follow the Constitution or are we going to become a banana republic? Consider this when you vote.